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Brexit & Siding with the Right-Wingers

Orientalism, Racism, voting, ballots, front national, UKIP


Anti-interventionist current in the Orient ought to be very diligent when siding with some rational policies of right wing European socio-political organizations. On a simplistic level the message of the right-wing groups might sound as non-interference in the affairs of the MENA region.  However, in 2016, strict pursuit of national interests without strong cosmopolitan and supranational components in national policy can lead to marginalization.

When the citizens of the United Kingdom chose to leave the European Union, some socio-political forces in the Middle East saw the news as a positive development. One of them was the elected government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Deputy for the Iranian President’s Office for political affairs, Hamid Aboutalebi said in a Twitter post that Iran should seize this opportunity and make the most out of Brexit and that he saw it as a unique opportunity.

With all its flaws, being the only working form of an Islamic government today, Iran’s statement is a regional trend setter to a certain degree. It is not to be taken lightly.

The statement of the Iranian foreign ministry manifests a perspective present among many in the Orient that unlike Pan-European and pro-globalization ruling elites in the West, the new rising right-wing parties want to pursue a policy of non-interference in the MENA region.

Views of some socio-political forces in the MENA region can be summarized in the following manner: the right-wing parties are focused on seizing power in their home countries by focusing on domestic issues, so they want to leave the rest of the non-Western world alone.

While there is some element of truth to the above perspective, it’s incomplete. It is easy to have this mistaken view of the rising right-wing organizations in Europe. For it is very intuitive to read the statement of the chairman of the Austrian right-wing FPO, Hans Stracher on rightly blaming Washington for the bloodbath in Syria that created the refugee crisis for Europe, as a positive awakening.

The reality is that the FPO and its likes are not concerned about the destruction of Syria, if there would be no refugee crisis in Europe, instigation of a proxy-war in Syria would simply be a realpolitik for these types of groups.

The right-wing European organizations see themselves as the manifestation of a civilized world, the distant and the recent history of Europe and the US tells us all in very clear terms that they do not hesitate in carpet bombing nations into “democracy” and “human rights” whenever they have the right means and circumstances in place.

White-man’s burden is alive and kicking within Western socio-political scene. The rising right-wing groups in Europe and the US clearly advocate and envision a supremacist policy agenda.  To disengage their certain rational policies from their overall aggressive dogma is a manifestation of short-sightedness.

The Western power block embodied in NATO has dominated and brutally interfered in the MENA region for decades. Exploiting natural local grievances and differences has been a key NATO policy. As cracks appear in the Western block, it is partly understandable why some Islamic socio-political forces in the MENA region would be jubilant to see their adversary divided as well.

Yet, this type of blanket approach will hurt the Muslim minorities living and positively participating in societies of Europe and North America. Instead, the grassroots socio-political forces in the MENA region should design a sophisticated and principled ad-hoc methodology when expressing support or opposition to certain policies of the rising-right wing organizations in the West.  This will not be an easy policy to pursue, mainly thanks to the decimation of the authentic grassroots leadership and movements in most parts of the MENA region, often with the assistance from Western powers, yet, siding with the right-wing bigots is not a rational policy choice.

There are many fair-minded and peace loving movements in Europe and North America with whom a principled and mutually beneficial cooperation can and should be formed. The Orient should not forget that with all the catastrophic European policies in the MENA region, it is Berlin and Ottawa, and not Ryadh or Moscow that provide greater humanitarian aid to the refugees and the persecuted of the MENA region.


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