One framework we have seen the past year is that "the nation," meaning the people, is rising up against internal oppressors so as to establish a new government on its own behalf. One question now is how the "nations" will be defined, or what identities will be on people's minds as they act politically. In Iraq, probably moreso than under Saddam Hussein, loyalty to a community of Sunnis, Shi'ites, or Kurds competes with that to Iraq as a whole. Those "Arab Spring" countries with religious differences will face the question of deciding if those differences preclude national unity. This issue might be most explosive in Syria, but for the moment, it is also a subject for discussion in Egypt, where salafis see Christians not as equal citizens, but as a subject population under Muslim rule.More good stuff here.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Reflections on 2011
Brian Ulrich reflects and analyzes developments in the Arab countries over at Brian's Coffeehouse. This particularly caught my attention: