17 January 2016 | Corey Oakley
For the vast majority of commentators and politicians, who neither anticipated nor wanted the unruly democratic uprising of the masses that was the 2011 Arab revolt, the region’s subsequent descent into sectarian violence has been a welcome relief.
It appears to them a vindication of all the stale orientalist tropes with which they deny the possibility of a Middle East ruled by its people rather than colonialists or vicious local despots.
“See?”, they say. “The Arabs were never cut out for democracy. Their archaic religion is the antithesis of the revolutionary demands of equality and self-rule that animated the protests from Tahrir Square to Damascus in 2011. The Arab world is wracked by ancient prejudices that if not held in check by a strong state will lead to the complete collapse of social order.”