Back in 1700s, when the communities and states sought to unite to build impressive countries such as the United States of America, a powerful notion was prevalent in the world: ‘the nation’. This concept kept together the elements of massive empires like the Ottoman and created a strong sense of ideological unity amongst the people.
However, when the world’s powers of the time started taking notice of the weak, as suitable places to be exploited, when certain circles started getting democracy and liberties all wrong, something shifted for the worse. Europe got fragmented, and then fragmented even more, countries were built on maps by help of rulers, all on the former lands of the Ottoman Empire, which were later divided into smaller countries. All because certain deep powers decided fragmentation would always be in their best interests.
Consequently, the organizations formed to prevent the repeat of the world wars, began to specifically focus on a new concept: ‘the peoples’. The United Nations was the pioneer of the concept and accordingly, those societies which gained the identity of a ‘people’, could approach to UN if they claimed that they were being persecuted by the sovereign powers in their country and would be entitled to help and support from the UN. After a while, the European Union adopted the same strategy. European Council has passed the draft entitled ‘Provision of Sovereignty’ based on the idea that ‘defending sovereignty is the basic requirement for the formation of a Europe based on the principles of democracy’.
Europe considered it as a ‘requirement for democracy’. However, the countries that constituted the European Union saw it as a danger. For that reason, almost every European country accepted this provision conditionally. In other words, countries accepted this notion, but were afraid of separation. UN laws were also accepted conditionally only for the sake of preventing separation.
Today the idea of ‘oppressed people’ is being exploited by communist terror groups, fascist groups wishing to use ethnicities as a leverage, and selfish communities that don't want to share their wealth and resources. But for people who are truly oppressed like Rohingya, these rights or descriptions don't really exist.
Europe closely watches the grim results of this law and uses the conditions of the states to prevent fragmentation. If it weren’t for those conditions, Catalonia and Basque in Spain, Scotland and Wales in the UK, Veneto in Italy, Flemish community in Belgium that doesn't wish to share richness and the French island of Corsica would be dragged into a path of fragmentation, just like in the case of the Balkans that is divided so deeply. Yet more fragmentation will only complicate things further, pit people against each other and societies that have lived together for a thousand years, will turn into enemies as a result of separation of identities.
It is in the nature of fragmentation. If anyone has a hard time believing this, they can have a look at the history of the Middle East and Africa. Communities that had lived together for thousands of years, suddenly turned into enemies, shedding fraternal blood. It demonstrated how brotherhood could be so easily forgotten despite shared nationality, religion and beliefs.
This is not freedom or democracy. Democracy is a liberated power that keeps all faiths and ethnicities together. Democracy helps strengthen brotherhood and the respect between individuals and societies. Democracy doesn't divide, on the contrary, unites and solidifies.
Europe and the deep powers misunderstood democracy. Their expectations of division in the Middle East, which came to backfire at them, could turn into such a problem for them as well. Still, it is possible to stop this danger before it’s too late.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Gulf Daily News