In 1991, after years of pro-democracy demonstrations, Algeria finally held democratic elections. But when a hard-line Islamist party, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), looked as if they would win the election by rallying support among conservatives, the army stepped in and banned the FIS. For roughly the next decade, the FIS waged guerilla war, and nearly 100,000 civilians were killed. The fighting in Algeria has begun to diminish over the past two years, but this month's deadly storms and poor economic conditions make Algeria ripe for further Islamist activity. Could Afghanistan be heading down the same dangerous path as Algeria if the Taliban are banned from taking part in the government? What lessons does Algeria offer to the Islamic world?
Phillip Naylor, Professor of History at Marquette University and author of "France and Algeria: A History of Decolonization and Transformation";
Richard B. Parker, former ambassador to Algeria
This program aired on November 19, 2001.