It is tragic that for a country as diverse and wonderful as Syria - one whose people cling proudly to their identity, history and religion - that only the most vapid and shallow of presentations are made when presenting Syria's case to the world in English, the de-facto international language of the fading Anglo-Saxon world system. The Creative Forum, a website where I have submitted a number of articles, has become just such an example of this sad state of affairs. Reading through the recent spate of articles, I've noticed a recurring theme amongst the various writers. A call for a separation of religion from state, and an intense dislike of those fellow countrymen, women and children who are Muslim.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The article by Elie ElHadj is the most grotesque of these in its orientalism, gross assumptions and what can only be a deliberate contortion of history, presenting us with an apology for colonialism and occupation. The rest of the posts slip comfortably into what I like to call the "Syriana" fad, which is similar to fads in other countries such as the "Persianisation" of Iran before the Islamic revolution put a stop to it, or to Sadat's "Pharoah-nisation" of Egypt, which continues to this day, or even to the "Phoenician-ism" of Lebanon. Any person with a shred of conscience must recognise these for what they are, a division of the Arab and Muslim world into little statelets devoid of a shared history, religion and culture, and a logical step to the recognition and gradual acceptance of that other myth of nationalism which the region has had imposed on it, the "Judeah-isation" of occupied Palestine.
Gone are ideas of Pan-Arabism, Pan-Islamism and resistance to the West and its way of life. It is now admirable to be everything that our forefathers despised.
I leave you with a quote from Galeano:
Harnessed as they have always been to the constellation of imperialist power, our ruling classes have no interest whatsoever in determining whether patriotism might not prove more profitable than treason, and whether begging is really the only formula for international politics. Sovereignty is mortgaged because "there's no other way." The oligarchies' cynical alibis confuse the impotence of a social class with the presumed empty destinies of their countries.
(Excerpt from Eduardo Galeano's "Open Veins of Latin America: Five centuries of the Pillage of a Continent".)