The Middle East and the World: Identity and Conflict in the Middle East Introduction The British had managed to possess several states in the Middle East including Egypt and a big part of the Iraq provinces by the end of the First World War…
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In Iraq, the people were not used to a central government ruling the people; thus it was difficult for them to come to terms with the new system of governance. The two nations were engaged in fierce fights against the colonial rule in the period between the First World War and the end of the Second World War. There were many similar experiences in the two nations in their struggle for independence and several differences. This paper will involve a comparison of the experiences in both nations during their colonization period in the first half of the 20th century. The religious factor in both colonies had a big role to play in the colonial period. Religion was a major cause of conflict and it led to the instability in the nations during the colonial period. Struggle for independence in Egypt and Iraq The British ruled Egypt through the Ottoman Empire until 1914 when it declared Egypt a protectorate after the Ottoman Empire was weakened by various wars that it was engaged in. The British instilled martial law in the protectorate. This agitated the elite among the people since they could clearly see the level of exploitation and denial of freedom that the British rule was subjecting the people to. In Iraq, the situation was the same in all three provinces that the British had conquered. The people were agitated by the new form of centralized law. In the past, both states were ruled by religious leaders and other influential social leaders whom everybody respected. The introduction of a centralized government was not welcome in both Iraq and in Egypt. The elite in Egypt mobilized special movements that looked into having the British lift some of their oppressive rules but their pleas were denied, further agitating them. The situation was the same in Iraq. The elite in the region were constantly attempting to form alliances against the British rule but their efforts failed because the nation did not have any experience in democratic policies. The people in Iraq were not capable of developing an effective political movement to compel the British to lift their rule (Cleveland & Bunton 307). As the Egyptian society became aware of the implications of the British rule on their land, they started a civil rebellion whereby they failed to observe the rules provided from the grassroots level. The elite in Egypt and in Sudan sent a nationalist delegation to the British council in Egypt to pledge with the high commissioner on granting Egypt their independence. The struggle for independence in Iraq was particularly eminent on the Arabs side. The people in Iraq rebelled on ethnic basis and the British tried to fight this by promising the Arabs certain privileges and particularly they promised the Kurds to give back their independence. Meanwhile in Egypt, the British used Egypt as one of its strategic military base. It exploited the food resources of the locals and the soldiers were ruthless against the Egyptian people. This further agitated the Egyptians but the British kept giving the people false hope of independence. In both nations, the British were clearly not intending to keep any of its many promises to the locals. It wanted the people to remain obedient to its rule and to prevent them from teaming up against it. In May 1924, the Iraq people declare a holy war against the cunning British forces. Both countries had their moments of hopes for independence that were shuttered by other political
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He begins his essay emphatically by stating “The day Islam gave a new concept of values and standards to mankind and showed the way to learn these values and standards, it also provided it with a new concept of human relationships. Islam came to return man to his Sustainer and to make is guidance the only source from which values and standards are to be obtained, as He is the Provider and Originator.
This was followed by European imperialism and colonialism beginning in middle nineteenth century. It was only with the end of WWII, that the states in the region began a journey towards self rule but that too was marked by formation of weak national states and external interference by the great powers of the day.
There has been a long-lasting conflict in the Middle Eastern Politics between the ideology of Arab nationalism and the ideology of Islamic revival, which has incongruously added fuel on to the burning fire in the politics of this region. Significantly, the ideology of Arab nationalism was developed in the 1950s and 60s under the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and the Ba’ath Parties of Syria and Iraq.
The American Revolutionary War was both bloody and costly but the American republican army regained strategic control in all regions and rebuilt the new nation founded with ideological precept of independence, enlightenment and liberalism which became the pillars of Republican worldview.
Colonized by the Ottoman Empire during the 17th century and much of the 18th centuries and during much of the 18th and 19th centuries by Britain and France, the Middle East has endured the reign of foreign influences affecting its modern day political realities.
Conflict was sewn into the fabric of the Middle East when an Israeli state was established in the Palestinian homeland without any provision being made for the Palestinians. Further, when political boundaries of the Arab states were set without regard to ethnicity or religious heritage, it set up a situation in which Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Jews, Coptic Christians, Kurds and others were forced into a political power vacuum that bred resentment when one or the other religious group inevitably came to dominate the government of any given country.
Much of the Middle East countries have a history of identity issues. Other factors like religion also play a role, but the point of departure is ownership and inheritance of territory. The Middle East has also suffered from European interference
ary regional political environment as a result of the Israel issue and complex cultural units falling under the “Arab” aegis (Hinnesbuch & Ehteshami, 2002, p.115). For example, Dawisha posits that the 1967 Six Day War with Israel operated as the seminal turning point in Arab
According to the research findings, it can, therefore, be said that there have been wars in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and most parts of the Middle East. Some of these countries have experienced civil wars among their citizens. Some of these wars may be caused by religious differences between Christians and Muslims.
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