Mid Eastern Ethnic Differences
We, the Western culture have little interest, much less knowledge of the absolute contentious conflagrations awaiting us. Much of this is based upon the internal hatreds of the Mid Eastern religious sects as well as the vast land distances and rugged terrain. For thousands of years these peoples remain essentially the same in customs, traditions, and the merging of tribal belief systems. Let us examine the Kurds who are usually in the newsprint and TV discussions.
The Kurds are thought to have migrated 4,000 years ago from Indo-Iran; they began settlement somewhere in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia. This is known as Iran and Turkey today. Many, who are still living in Iran, perhaps 4.6Million, speak a version of Farsi, a language common with the modern Iranian northern peoples.
The original religion, as far as history goes, was Yazidism, a composite of Muslim, Early Christian and Zorasterism. Although still practiced this has evolved into the more modern Saredast, somewhat based upon the teachings of Zoraster, perhaps in or about 300 to 600 AD. It is all confusing and scholars of antiquity are not in agreement.
As we move further east into Turkey proper we see more of the Sunni Muslim faith while the Muslim Sharia faith is dominate and the established religion of Turkey. This makes for a very hostile environment, as each sect hates one another. Turkey is often bombing and attacking the Kurds.
A quick review of history is interesting as the Kurds are basically nomadic, goat and sheepherders living in remote rugged mountains. Those 15Million Kurds living in Turkey are more modern, although constrained by modern Turkish Shiite life. About 1.8 Million Kurds live in Syria, 4.6Million in Iran and 7.6Million in Iraq.
As we note in the lead in picture the area covered by the ancient non-state of Kurdistan spans a great deal of land mass and the ethnic cultures have changed a bit from the ages old Tribal system. As a tribal based culture they want limited contact and unlikely statehood recognition thereby non-adapting to the surrounding states. Their Tribal territory is not a world member political state, although there are western powers that want them in the political arena. Turkey wants them out completely.
They are in constant armed conflict with these other states, usually at a severe loss in life. Sadam Hussein when in power in Iraq gassed and killed over a million Kurds and Iran military.
However as a disruption of culture ethnicity has developed since the last major war in Iraq, they, the Kurds are encouraged to fight the invasion of Turkish forces into Iraq. They are also fighting rebels in Syria. These fighters are known as “Peshmerga” (those who face death).
What is interesting is that most of the Mid East state boundaries have been redrawn, beginning in 1918 by western powers of Great Britton, the United States, Russia, France, and Germany. This of course had no consideration for thousands of years of tribal boundaries and has led to a great deal of conflict.
You may consider that this one 4,000 year old culture and diverse ethnicity is an example of the other Tribal peoples of the Mid East and North Africa whose illiteracy, lack of modern trade skills, lack of employment and stability of the land creates a very difficult landscape to bend to one political ideology, or another. The Mid East has been in turmoil for over 7000 years, dating back to the early Egyptian era, most notably since about 1000AD, European and English treasure seeking armed knights of the time created hostile hatred in the then Muslim culture. Recall from an historic standpoint, and movies, that Saladin the Great was Muslim, but also a Kurd.
Political strife in the Mid East remains rampant and the likely hood of resolving anything other than by dictatorship brute force, as in the past, will temporarily create a stable, semi-peaceful environment until the dictator dies of old age, his sons die of old age and/or the western powers intervene and overthrow the entire system they have been supporting (and created) for decades.
The only interest we have there is oil mostly for Europe. Iranian oil supports most of China. Perhaps the current interest is quashing unstable governments emerging with modern weapons technology including nuclear ambitions. The future does look grim indeed.
May God in his infinite mercy protect you and that you live long and prosper.
COPYRIGHT: Back2theLand.com 1/6/2016.