Kurdish suffering under Arab, Turkish and Iranian rule infuses them with a natural affinity for Jews and Israel.
By DAN DIKER, HAROLD RHODE
Sunni imperial rule – under the guise of what has been known as pan Arabism – may now be broken beyond repair. The Arab “sacred cow” – the so-called “Zionist invasion and occupation of Palestine” – has failed to unify the Arab world and may now have “two hoofs” in the slaughter house.
While regional realignments may result in a Middle East more amenable to Israel, dangers are still proliferating.
Dore Gold’s prescient analysis, “The Demise of the Middle East’s Borders” (Israel Hayom, May 25) illustrates the geographic and cartographic uncertainty toward which the region appears to be heading.
The often violent competition for power and control among Islamic groups in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, among other states, that house Sunnis and Shi’ites, Alawites, Kurds, Druse, Christians and others continue to cut through and across the random boundaries’ that were established by the British and French empires as a result of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.
Mashari al-Zaydi, of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat noted in his May 25 column that, “There is great danger in what is happening in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and may soon also happen on Turkey’s southern border….Egypt and North Africa, in a different way – are about to enter a terrifying era of religious terrorism, sectarian war and civil strife that will harm everyone.”
What stands behind most of the violence in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other areas is Arab Sunni fundamentalism in its various forms – whether Salafi, Wahhabi, or Muslim Brotherhood. All forms of radical Islam threaten the existence of the Alawites, Kurds, Lebanese Shi’ites, Christians, and other members of the non-Sunni ethnic and religious groups, including non-fundamentalist Sunnis.
This Arab Muslim “zero-sum game” culture defines their view of Kurds and other minorities, including Israel. Just as the Arab Sunni Muslims in general relentlessly “hunt” Israel, they would only accept a permanent solution in the Middle East by which they conquer and control the region, and – according to classical Islamic dogma – eventually the entire world.
But tectonic shifts triggered by the Islamic revolutions over the past few years may succeed in liberating the region from Sunni Arab imperialism and create a better future for the region’s minorities. The Kurds, while overwhelmingly Sunni, see the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis by and large as Arab imperialists trying to force them to abandon their Kurdish identity and become Arabs – probably the reason most Kurds loathe the Muslim Brotherhood.
For the Brotherhood, being Sunni is not enough. In their view, only Arabs can be true Muslims. Non-Arabs must abandon their languages and cultures and adopt an Arab identity – the same attitude which explains how most of the Middle East became Arab and Muslim during the first century of …read more