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Sectarianism — facts and illusions

Jun 29,2015 - Last updated at Jun 29,2015

Many suggestions are given and theoretical scenarios being discussed by international think tanks regarding the problems of the Middle East and possible solutions for the continuous crises.

The major reason for the many theories and scenarios about the “New Middle East” is the ambiguity linked to the events of the region since the advent of Daesh, which is showing a baffling capacity to expand beyond country borders.

This made some think of a new geography for the region, perhaps with new borders and states.

Many such ideas appeared after the recent divisions in the region, along ethnic or religious lines: Sunni, Shiite, Druze, Kurds, etc., which makes the idea of new ethnical and religious cantons look bizarrely logic, as if a new “balkanisation” model.

Moreover, many politicians and writers started to adopt new terminology that reinforces the idea of some that the people of the region are incapable of coexisting, simultaneously promoting the idea that dividing people along sectarian lines is the only solution for the continuous conflicts.

These ideas and scenarios are not new, they have been around for a while, but most decision makers and military leaders view such solutions more as wishful thinking than achievable goal.

The idea of disappearance or emergence of some states, or even of expansion or shrinking of some countries, has found many promoters who try to show the logic of it.

The advocates of the idea belong to various categories, but are mainly those who suffer from a complex of inferiority due to the political structure in their countries which prevents them from having any role.

Accordingly, the promotion of such ideas has the latent objective of creating a new future role for those promoting them in any new political structure, which pushes them to start playing a “marketing role” that includes a high dose of sectarian tone.

The failure to find solutions to the current crises is pushing some to look for new regional roles, ignoring deliberately the risks that such roles represent to their own countries.

Strengthening the concept of civic state is what we need today to avoiding falling in the trap of sectarian and ethnic rhetoric.

We need to start building enlightened national projects, citizenship, sustainable development and human formation.

It would be political suicide to think that promoting division and fragmentation of states would give direct benefits to some groups or countries.

 

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