And Islamophobia was never a problem ever again

aarhus-islam-protestThe Sykes-Picot agreement is a thing. And it’s a thing that may be more responsible for current global issues than we realise.

If you are unfamiliar with it, it was an agreement between Russia, France and Great Britain signed in May 1916 during WWI. The agreement set out how the three great powers would divvy up the Middle East should the Ottoman Empire be on the losing side (it chose Germany and Austria-Hungary. It chose poorly).

Then the Russian intelligentsia got all uppity, overthrew the Monarchy and made this deal public. The local Middle Easterns went “BOO-URNS” and the Brits went “Ah well” and the French said “Sacre bleu!” (probably) and they went ahead and did it anyway.

So an area that was previously massive and home to a series of different religious types got broken down. And not in a logical “Oh there’s a group of people who have evolved a community in that area, let’s create a country there” kind of way, but more in a “what’s the best interests for us as colonial powers and OMG WE LOVE OIL” kind of way. So you got situations where Shi’ites and Sunni were grouped together (Iraq), entire groups of people who didn’t have a country at all but made up a minority across a range of countries (Kurds) and so forth.

Unsurprisingly (though I fear it came as a surprise), there was – and is – discontent among the groups of people in this area. And it also just so happens to be an area that is largely Islamic.

So, my hypothesis is that the current wave of Islamophobia that’s sweeping through Europe is misplaced. It’s not the faith that’s the problem. It’s the geographical meddling that has gone on for a very long time (my very brief and probably wrong summation above could do with an historical lens, don’t trust bloggers folks).

And I say this because in other places where Islam is so widespread, it doesn’t seem like such a problem. Take the Asian Islamic states – where over 60 per cent of Islamic people actually live – we don’t seem to see beheadings occuring, or journalists/aid workers being kidnapped with such frequency.

Or Morocco. Where 99 per cent of the country is recorded as being Muslim. Or Tunisia. Or Niger. Or Senegal. All of those countries are registered as being over 95 per cent Muslim.

That’s not to say that there are no problems in those places. But making the assumption that because the areas of current problems – Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria et al – are largely Muslim means that Muslims are a problem is like assuming that because most of the abortion clinics that get bombed/attacked in the US happen in the Bible Belt means Christians are all bombers and the US is a hotbed of terrorists.

So it seems from my perspective that it’s not Islam that’s the problem. It’s nationalism – and feeling like you’re not in control of your own country.

Did you know that Indonesia has over 200 million Islamic people. That’s a lot of terrorists aye WhaleOil? You’d think that they would routinely be trying to install a Caliphate everywhere (hmm maybe that explains Tony Abbott actually…).

There are literally hundreds of millions of Muslim people everywhere who do not want to behead non-Muslims, that do not want to force you all to wear an hijab, that want to live and pray and explore their faith in way that is peaceful and harmonious with wherever we are.

So now, having read this, I’m sure that Islamophobia has been solved and we can go on to not being dicks to each other.






  1. As with Northern Ireland, it seems like a territorial dispute with religious sectarianism as the pretext. Sadly, those in positions of power refuse to learn from history and hence repeat it.

  2. Rick Rowling says:

    I agree that it isn’t Islam – it just happens that *this* particular group of murderous bigoted fuckwits are using Islam as a handy rallying cry to justify being murderous bigoted fuckwits, just like other packs of murderous bigoted fuckwits used Nazism, White Power / Klan-ism , Soviet Communism, Rwandan Akazu-ism, etc to justify being murderous bigoted fuckwits.

    Not sure that there’s a good causative link to the Sykes-Picot thing, though.

    Look at Africa, South America, the Subcontinent, lots of places where national borders were somewhat arbitrarily set by Europeans, and there’s not much of a correlation between imposed national borders and murderous bigoted fuckwitism.

    Maybe it’s got to do with non-secular states? Extreme inequality? Absolute poverty? Long cultural shared-but-separate histories?

    • Actually, there’s a fair bit of murderous fuckwittery in the not-too-distant past of African nations who had their boundaries arbitrarily defined by European colonials. (Rwanda, anyone?)

      I think the difference there is that in Africa the terrorism has been largely focused inward on other inhabitants of the same country, so it’s been less newsworthy from “Western” journalistic perspective.

  3. Saudi Arabia has never been partition by the evil white man – and they do all the things ISIS does including beheadings, floggings, torture etc… Islam and peace? Only if you submit.

  4. Rick Rowling says:

    “Actually, there’s a fair bit of murderous fuckwittery in the not-too-distant past of African nations who had their boundaries arbitrarily defined by European colonials”

    Yes, but my point is there’s not a good correlation – almost every African nation has had borders arbitrarily assigned by Europeans, as has the subcontinent with it’s billion plus people, and murderous bigoted fuckwittery isn’t normal in most of them.

    There are probably better correlations with other factors, like poverty or inequality within the nation.

    So while I agree that it’s just plain wrong to blame “the Muslims”, I also disagree that you should just blame “the Europeans”. Sometimes it’s the fuckwit with the gun who’s the problem. There are billions of other people in the same circumstances who don’t choose to murder people.

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