Paris, Washington, Algiersby
The prospect of an Islamist victory in Algeria has alarmed French policymakers and politicians across the political spectrum. The French right, from the National Front's Jean Le Pen to Gaullist Interior Minister Charles Pasqua have, in varying degrees, raised the specter of Algerian “boat people” swarming across the Mediterranean to threaten the very basis of French civilization. Centrists and socialists excused the Algerian army's cancellation of the 1991 parliamentary elections by arguing that the Islamists were anti-democratic anyway. The geostrategists among them feared that an Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) regime would spread its revolution to the rest of North Africa and the Middle East and cut gas supplies to the continent.