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About Mahfoud Bennoune

Mahfoud Bennoune (1936-2004) was born in a peasant family in northeastern Algerian, served in the National Liberation Front during the country's war of independence and was imprisoned by the French military for four years.  A professor of sociology at the University of Algiers, he was a prolific author in Arabic, French and English, publishing The Making of Contemporary Algeria, 1830-1987, with Cambridge University Press.




Articles by Mahfoud Bennoune

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Jihadist "crimes that surpass all understanding": a letter from 1995 Algeria

In this letter written during Algeria’s “dark decade” of fundamentalist violence - sadly relevant today - Mahfoud Bennoune argued that movements purveying “Islamic states” through terror are ultimately “doomed to failure.”

From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad

What is the ideology motivating alleged “warriors of God” to “trample Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad”?  Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune explored this question in 1994, offering an analysis of the political beliefs motivating “throat-slitting emirs” still much-needed today.

From 1990s Algeria to 9/11 and ISIS: understanding the history of "Homo islamicus fundamentalensis"

Today’s brutal jihadists like “Islamic State” follow in the footsteps of fundamentalists who have afflicted Muslim majority societies since the 12th century. Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune revisited that history in order to strategize against jihadists - a task which remains essential.

Algeria and Nigeria: sharing the deadweight of human mindlessness

Wole Soyinka believed that one of the best ways to comprehend the kind of horror that is happening in Nigeria is to remember the experience of other nations in the region confronted with jihadist groups much like Boko Haram. Mahfoud Bennoune confronted the same questions in Algeria in the 1990s.

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