The Islamist MP Naima Salhi’s uninhibited racism towards migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, whom she devotes to sweltering debauchery, is controversial in Algeria.
Invited by the Arabic-language channel El Bilad TV at the end of July, the president of the Equity and Proclamation Party (EPP) delivered them to the public vengeance, accusing them of the worst evils, including spreading “diseases and witchcraft”, while calling for prevention of this “catastrophe”.
“Before, we were a transit country, through which these Africans passed to arrive in Europe, but now we have become a country of residence, and these Africans bring with them diseases and witchcraft,” said the parliamentarian, adding “I had already asked former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune to remove this catastrophe from us.”
His remarks raised the indignation of a number of Internet users who said they were scandalized by a rhetoric “racist” with hateful accents “worthy of the far right.” An incendiary anti-migrant rhetoric that has already struck many ears in Algeria, but more disturbing, has also resonated nicely with many others.
Indeed, in 2016, Farouk Ksentini, president of the National Advisory Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (CNCPPDH), called for the expulsion of sub-Saharan migrants, accusing them of “spreading AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.
In 2017, a campaign with the explicit title “No Africans in Algeria” ignited Algerian social networks. This banal ostracism towards foreigners from Africa has exalted a revanchist nationalism, urging “clean up Algerian cities” of migrants.
And as every time a spurious speech exacerbates racism, on either side of the Mediterranean, it flatters the lowest instincts and legitimizes the rejection of the other without the slightest restraint.