Impenetrable by fact…….
Tribalism Drives Middle East Violence
by Philip Carl Salzman
Independent Journal Review
March 25, 2016
Originally published under the title “He Say’s There’s One Thing That Drives Violence In The Middle East. But It’s Not Islam...”
|The tribes of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.|
Take a look at recent news reports from around the Arab world and you’ll notice an unusual commonality. Egypt’s government “struggles to rally Sinai tribes,” reads one Reuters headline, while the title of a Gulf News article recounts that former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh “fears tribes will shift allegiance” to his successor, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Oxford Research reports on the “local, tribal and fragmented” nature of militia power in Libya. CNN covers a U.S. special forces mission to “accompany tribal, Arab and Kurdish forces” in Syria. From the BBC, “Iraqi tribes clash with jihadists in IS stronghold of Falluja.” The UAE daily The National proudly notes the “tribal and military influences” in local designer Huda Al Nuaimi’s spring/summer 2016 collection.
Ok, you get the idea – tribalism is big in the Arab world. And while it has grown more noticeable with the collapse and weakening of Arab governments in recent years, the trend is not new. The same north Arabian Bedouin tribes that accepted Islam and spread it by the sword also infused the region with a deeply tribal culture, impacting everything from family relations to governance and conflict.
More here. H/T: DennisM.