Arabization Campaigners Are Striving To Ban French From Shop Signs
The latest decision of the Minister of Trade, Kamel Rezig, to impose the Arabization of shop signs, triggered a state of alert in the societal trend that opposes the generalization of the use of the Arabic language, which has been frozen since the 1990s, and some symbols of this trend have come out criticizing the minister’s decision as usual.
Among the symbols of this trend opposing the spread of the Arabic language is the lawyer Mokrane Ait Larbi, who expressed his annoyance at the decision of the Minister of Trade, Kamel Rezig, to amend the law to allow for the punishment of merchants who write above their shops their signs in the French language, and labeled the minister’s decision as an attempt to cover up the two burning cases of skyrocketing prices and dire scarcity that now characterize the national market.
Ait Larbi wrote in a post on his page on the social network, Facebook: “Kamel Rezig, Minister of Trade, announced that his services are in the process of amending the legal texts that enable the commercial controller to impose penalties on the owners of shops that display signs written in French”.
Pictures of the shops located in the major cities, especially the capital, give the impression to its visitors that they are in a country whose constitution does not stipulate that Arabic is the official language of the country, due to the outrageous spread of the French language.
The former leader of the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) party commented on the minister’s decision: “This announcement reveals the minister’s apparent inability to provide edible oil at a reasonable price to citizens, especially to millions of disadvantaged groups. Thanks to the “genius” of the Minister of Trade, edible oils are sold for a thousand dinars for five liters,” he argued.
According to Ait Larbi, “Minister Rezig conceals his complete inability to act – with the exception of describing the revolution’s martyrs as movement – this is due, he said, to Abdelkader Hadjar’s and the former single party’s theses about forcefully Arabizing the surroundings, including the shops. And if these shops are Arabized in his view, the problems of the eroded cost of living will end”.
Lawyer Ait Larbi expects from the Minister of Trade, to “work in order to provide what the citizen needs. To impose payment of instruments, undertake price controls, set the price of each commodity in a prominent line, make the ten basic commodities available to everyone, and impose fines on merchants for not setting or exceeding prices”.
In return, he called on the Government to give the merchant the freedom to choose the language in which he writes his shop’s sign.
As stated in Ait Larbi’s post: “As for the signs, the merchant writes in the language that he freely chooses, and the authority has no injunction in this regard. The minister must carry out well his duties, if he is able, and leave the shops’ banners to choose for the merchants themselves”.
The post of the former leader in the RCD party has been right in criticizing the Minister of Trade for not being able to control prices in the market, and to eliminate the scarcity that affects some widely consumed products, such as table oil, and he is right about that, but it is likely that Ait Larbi’s real motive was not to organize the commodity market and control prices, but rather the fear of seeing the French language being rubbed from the scene and precisely from the streets and major cities of the country and the capital, a contingency that the defenders of Voltaire’s language fear so much.