Jihad is over, if you want it. At least in Algeria. But Mezrag will work through democratic means to establish an Islamic state. Oh, democratic means? Well, then, no problem! From Reuters:
“I don’t see why they (the rebels) are still in the mountains. I fought the regime to defend principles. The war is over now,” Madani Mezrag, former leader of the armed wing of the now-defunct Islamic Salvation Army party, said at a press conference.
“I do not believe they are defending Islamic principles as we did. They should give up the fight,” Mezrag said.
The influential Islamic leader said he was still in contact with the rebels holding out in the mountains but did not give further details.
“Contacts never stopped. I will continue to persuade them that jihad is over. But the government should keep its promise to facilitate their reinsertion into social life,” said Mezrag.
The 45-year-old, who negotiated the surrender of the AIS in 1997, said he would never abandon his political project to establish an Islamic state in the oil and gas-rich North African country.
“Islamic currents will come back in force in the political scene. I have no doubt about this. And we will do whatever possible through democratic means to set up an Islamic state here,” Mezrag told reporters.