Harun Yahya

Yemen Must Not Fall Into The Trap Of Identity Politics


Ideological policies predominated during the Cold War. At that time, the world was quite literally divided in two camps. The Western allies espoused a free market economy and private property, while the Eastern Bloc favored central planning and joint ownership. The struggle between the two ended with the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and ultimately, the Soviet Union.

Numerous politicians and political scientists declared the collapse of the Soviet Union to be the definitive victory of capitalism. In their eyes, communism had now been absolutely vanquished and there was no longer any obstacle to the hegemony of democracy and capitalism. Yet many subsequent events showed that this prediction was untrue. Policies of identity rather than policies of ideologies became the source of tensions between countries.

Political identity is a term used to describe those policies intended to build a “pure and specific” identity in a country or region. Resistance to this policy implemented in a country as a whole can also be evaluated within the scope of political identity. The basic element in political identity may sometimes be based on ethnic differences and sometimes on religious or sectarian ones yet the best course of action is not to keep different identities separate, but to build a civilization in which they can all co-exist within a just order.

Events in Catalonia and the Basque region of Spain or in Northern Italy can also be analyzed under the heading of political identity.

A similar state of affairs applies in Yemen. Despite President Hadi’s suggestions for the Houthis to end their protests, the Houthis’ demand for five ministries in a new Cabinet to be established is yet another example of this desire. The demand for different identities to be equally represented in the administration is a legitimate one, although it is wrong to seek to make this a tool for conflict and seek to achieve legitimate democratic demands through undemocratic means.

People who engage in politics of identity prefer to live in a relatively weakened state as a community based on one single characteristic rather than joining forces under different identities. That difference in perspective means that policies of identity that have multiplied since the years of the Cold War and have constantly created fresh spheres of conflict. The Serbs in Bosnia, the Basques in Spain and the PKK in Turkey represent the main figures in the conflicts taking place.

It is in fact impossible for identity politics to fully achieve their aims, because human societies are not made up of indistinguishable individuals like the atoms in a table. The Southeast of Turkey is not entirely Kurdish: Arabs and Turks also constitute a major part of the population in the region and all of them lived together for centuries, and ethnic divisions disappeared. The same thing applies to Yemen. Many Sunni Arabs live in those areas where Houthis are in the majority. Even if people living in a region have the same ethnic or sectarian make-up, this does not mean that these differences have been eliminated. The great majority of people living in Southeast Turkey do not support the separatist Marxist Kurds, and those who do support them only tend do so at gunpoint. It is also not possible to say that all the Zaidis in Yemen support the Houthi movement.

As we have seen, it is unrealistic to promise peace or tranquility to a region by concentrating on ethnic or sectarian characteristics. Conflicts based on sectarian divisions simply and inevitably further conflicts once separation has taken place.

Countries frequently enter into conflict with separatist forces for that reason, and these conflicts can last many years. Seeking a solution in violence alone leads to heavy material losses and casualties.

Political identities are not enough to bring justice, peace, security and wealth to the north of Yemen alone because no matter how much they consist of people with a similar identity, it is always possible for even further divisions to appear within those identities. Conflict is just as probable within the north of Yemen as it is in Yemen as a whole. Moreover, even though they are made up of the same ethnicities or sects, there are also several impoverished communities in conflict with one another.

People being of good conscience prevents them from discriminating on the basis of ethnic origins or beliefs and the only way to be of good conscience is faith. Only people who have faith can always act in the light of their conscience.

In conclusion, there is only one solution to the injustice, conflict, terror, killing, poverty and oppression in Yemen – the moral values of the Qur’an.

Looking in general terms at the problems in Yemen and the rest of the world, all these things are clearly the result of feelings such as lovelessness, ruthlessness, enmity, hatred and self-interest, not to mention a lack of rationality. The way to totally eliminate these negative attitudes lies in understanding and forgiveness, love, affection, compassion, altruism, common sense and reason. These features only belong to people who fully comply with the moral values of the Qur’an.


Adnan Oktar's article on National Yemen:


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