On understanding sectarianism
19 giugno 2014 § 1 Commento
Ibrahim, as usual excellent, with an interesting short piece on sectarianism as a political strategy.
From a theoretical perspective, the important point is the following, which I copy below for those who do not feel like reading the whole article or are not that interested in such issues:
“To bring the cases of Iraq and Syria into a greater Asian context, it is perhaps better to disaggregate sectarianism from anti-Shi‘ism. In Syria and Iraq, mobilization in terms of regime security and intra-state conflict has coalesced along sectarian lines, rather than sectarian differences serving as the casual factor in creating a sectarian state or militias”. In other words,
“Rather than view sectarianism or the mobilization of politics along sectarian lines in the Middle East as a root cause of conflict, it could be better categorized as a strategy of patronage politics”.
Which is to say: Religion, as any other potentially bonding feature, has been effectively used by power-holders or power-seekers to establish a group identity based on the dicotomy enemy-friend.
EXtreme summary: Politics in its essential nature, religion is accidental.