Every once in a while I get called racist and generally I get called such because of the sheer ignorance of the person I am talking to. In this instance there was a link to an article by an Arab journalist saying that Arab conflicts are always portrayed as being religious and sectarian which gives an impression that Arabs aren’t civilised. I responded to this that, excepting Egypt, Arab society is inherently tribal, that the nation state is a product of western imperialism rather than Arab culture and so most conflicts are tribal in nature.
This is uncontroversial. A couple of weeks back there was speculation that Jordan would have to leave the fight against ISIS because the tribe which provides most of the personnel of the Jordanian military wanted to pull out to save their relative. This was widely reported in the news and illustrates the tribal nature of Jordanian society. In Iraq we defeated al Qaeda by the simple expedient of bribing the tribes that had joined it to fight it. Saddam’s ministers generally came from his tribe, his senior military officers came from his tribe. All this can be gleaned from just reading news papers.The various states Arabian peninsula are no less tribal.
A second point that I could have made, but which would have required a little bit more knowledge of Arab culture than I assumed my idiot interlocutor had, a safe assumption it turned out, is that in Arab eyes the pinnacle of their culture are the Bedouin and they’re nomads. They are quite literally uncivilised.
I’ve come to a place where I realise that, “You’re a racist” is really just leftie speak for, “I’m totally ignorant and your statement contradicts my ideology”. I find it quite funny now but I used to get really frustrated that I’d get into these discussions with middle class white kids who are unread, ignorant about other cultures, disinterested in other cultures but who essentially assert that every culture on the planet holds modern western values and get abusive when it is pointed out that this is not the case. Curiously, though, these are the same people who parrot on about diversity. If we’re all the same how can there be diversity? Or if we’re all diverse how can it be that we are all the same?