Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Fact About the Middle East

When analyzing the situation in the Middle East, it is important to understand the people’s perceptions of themselves and their political environment as well as the background of those perceptions. Thus, Western scholars should have understood by now that the tribal and sectarian inheritance influences the Middle Easters mentality when it comes to their political order. Tribes always had one leader with entangled family ties with almost all members of that tribe. The same goes for the sects. If we added to this the history of the consecutive political regimes in the region, most Middle Easters are accustomed to one-leader regimes. If we understood this fact well, we can analyze the reasons why part of the Syrians supports Bashar al-Assad while the other part opposes him. The former constitute of al-Assad’s own sect and people who benefit from his rule. The later constitute mostly of Islamists who wants to bring about their own political order that -in turn- is headed by one ruler (the calipha or Ameer –prince-).  Therefore, do not mistake the opposition revolutions taking place in Syria as a democratization wave in the region. Democracy –to Middle Easters- is a foreign product. It is not produced by the natural development of society and culture and thus it is not applicable –at least in the present-. It can only be used as a mean to reach an end especially in the Islamists strategies.

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