In the Arab world, sectarianism is real, sects are not — Rima Majed (16 Oct 2016) | Al Jazeera

Taking Sides

Source: Al Jazeera

In the Arab world, sectarianism is real, sects are not

Analysis of Arab societies through sectarianism does not grasp the complex dynamics of identity politics in the region.

by Rima Majed

Most analysts writing about the Arab world are focused almost solely on sectarianism as being the catalysts for the violence that the region is witnessing [Getty]
Most analysts writing about the Arab world are focused almost solely on sectarianism as being the catalysts for the violence that the region is witnessing [Getty]

Beirut – Last week, Saudi writer and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, wrote a piece in the London-based al-Hayat newspaper in which he argued that “Sunnis” were targeted as a group and called on them to ‘defend themselves as a sect’.

Such flawed, reductionist and ill-informed analysis contributes to little more than reminding us that sectarianism is actually a fait accompli.

Sectarianism is real. It is neither a myth, nor an illusion. It is real in its implications and its revelations in our everyday life. In many countries in the Middle East and beyond, sectarianism…

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