Faher Djaout

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Date: 1954 - 1993

Region: Africa

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Religion

Medium: Print Journalism, Literature


Artist: Algerian poet, fiction writer, and journalist Faher Djaout

Confronting Bodies: The Armed Islamic Group [of Algeria]

Dates of Action: 1993

Location: Algeria

Description of Artwork: Faher Djaout was a writer and editor of Ruptures (magazine). He was also a fiction writer and poet. Djaout was an avid proponent of secularism which asserts the freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, within a state that is neutral on matters of belief, and gives no state privileges or subsidies to religions; and his writings often promote this belief in secularism.

The Incident: Faher Djaout was assassinated by the rebel Armed Islamic Group because of his support of secularism and opposition to what he considered fanaticism.

Results of Incident: Djaout was assassinated due to his beliefs that went against Islamic fundamentalists. After Djaout’s death the BBC made a documentary about him entitled Shooting the Writer which was introduced by Salman Rushdie. It is also important to note that 1993 was a very bloody year for writers, journalists, academics, and artists in Algeria. The victims, most of them murdered by Islamist activists, include Ruptures magazine writer and editor Taher Djaout; sociologist Djilali Liabhs; Beaux-Arts [College] head Ahmed Asselah; sociologist M’hamed Boukhobza; Bab-Ezzouar University head Salah Djebaoli; poet and writer Youssef Sebti; playwright and stage director Abdelkader Alloula; psychiatrist Mahfoudh Boucebci, national education superintendent Salah Chouaki; playwright Izzedine Medjoubi; pediatrician Dilalli Belkhanchir; economist Abderahmane Faredeheb; and journalists Ferhat Cherkit, Youssef Fathallah, Lamine Lagoui, Ziane Farrah, Abdelhamid Benmenni, Rabah Zenati, Saad Bakhtaoui, and Abderrahmane Chergou…, and the list is far from complete…

Source: Democracy Frontline blog