The Myth of Multiculturalism

When you look at the events unfolding in Syria, and before that Iraq, and before that Lebanon, and even before that in Northern Ireland – or indeed any flashpoint in the world in the last hundred or so years – how can anybody with even a single brain cell support multiculturalism. And yet the developed world continues to parrot the so-called benefits of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic societies.
The legitimate uprising that began as a protest against the corrupt and despotic Ba’thist Assad regime has splintered into a conflict riven with many different religious, sectarian and tribal groups who spend as much time and energy fighting each other as fighting against Assad. There are Sunni and Shia, Salafists and Druze and Hezbollah militias, and Twelvers and Sufis and followers of Al Qu’eda and other professional jihadists.
If there an an outcome will it be the same as Iraq where a brutal, corrupt and repressive but efficient secular regime has been replaced by a brutal, corrupt and repressive religious and inefficient regime?
40 years ago Lebanon was a sophisticated and successful and very beautiful country (Beirut was the Paris of The East) dominated by a well educated Christian majority. But the high Muslim birthrate meant the pendulum swung to an Islamic majority – and of course they wanted a bigger slice of the pie. At first it was a classic Marxist struggle between the Haves and the Have-Nots. But it splintered all too quickly into a religious/ sectarian struggle between Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant Christians, Sunni and Shia Muslims and all their various Sects – and of course Palestinian refugees and Iran backed Hezbollah.
Northern Ireland was a lot simpler. A savage battle between Celtic tribes made worse by the religious differences between Irish Catholics and Scottish Protestants. If that fairly simple struggle took 400 years to resolve what hope is there for the much more complex Middle East – and I have not even mentioned the Israeli problem?
There is a joke in the Middle East that when God created Lebanon with its Mediterranean beaches, its snow capped mountains, lush valleys and cedar forests the Lebanese said “God, thank you for giving us this Paradise on Earth.” God replied, “You haven’t met your neighbours yet.”
The Arabian/Persian Gulf is (almost) as simple as Northern Ireland. Dominated by the conflict between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia there is Shia unrest and uprising from time to time in Bahrain and the towns along the Saudi East coast against their Sunni rulers – but it has been contained. And potential problems in the UAE and Oman were resolved in the 50s by proxy wars between the USA and Britain. For the moment Yemen continues to be unstable, a haven for Al Qu’eda – but drones are taking care of that?
In my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” I use the largely forgotten political turmoil and proxy wars, and The West’s greed for the fabulous oil wealth of Iran and Saudi Arabia, as an exotic background to my stories of expatriates working there. Flotsam and Jetsam of the developed world who have washed up in The Gulf to escape the wants of women and Nanny Britain to live a dangerous and highly paid life on the edge.
You can preview my book at:
http://www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards
and download it if you have a Kindle. Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition from:
http://www.thebookdepository.co.uk
The ISBN number is 978-1908147097
They offer free delivery worldwide.
I hope you enjoy it.

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