The country is also home to various armed Islamic groups
who hope to create a Muslim state.
The major armed Islamic groups are the Islamic Salvation Army (connected to the FIS) and the extremist Armed Islamic Group (GIA).
The Armed Islamic Group (GIA), on the other hand, refused to take up the amnesty offer.
While the cease-fire reduced the overall level of political violence, it further fragmented the armed Islamic groups
While several thousand members of armed Islamic groups
gave themselves up, radical organisations have pursued their fight against the army-dominated regime.
Fearful Algerians whisper to me that they are menaced on the one side by the armed Islamic groups
to collaborate and join them, suspected of being subversives by the army and the 200,000 strong 'patriot' civilian militia, all-too prone to take the law into their own hands, or else risk being forcibly recruited into the army.
Including them may go some way to (peacefully) representing the views of many Algerians who espouse Islamic values and thus help to undercut support for the armed Islamic groups
, even though the banned FIS still enjoys widespread, clandestine support.
Journalists are explicitly blamed by the armed Islamic groups
, especially the Groupe Islamique Arme (GIA), responsible for killing most of the 70 foreign casualties, for the failure of the talks because of bias and distortion in their reporting.
Repression has backfired, and has encouraged more intractable and extreme armed Islamic groups
to spring up.
Essentially, the Islamist discourse as expressed by the former Front of Islamic Salvation and the Armed Islamic Group
redefines the relationship between the Muslim and God from unobtrusive worship and individual piety to exalted display of public religiosity; from awareness of multiple interpretations to submission to one interpretation of the texts, if not re-interpretation, chosen by the movement; and from tolerance of different modes of being Muslim to a rejection of all deviations from a normative way of being Muslim.