Opinion

Consequences of Colonialism: How It’s Still Having an Effect Today

Wikimedia Commons

The modern Middle Eastern crisis searing today was created the moment Europeans drew the boundaries at the end of the First World War. With the inconsiderate divisions, the Middle Easterners are rendered in a perpetual state of war over ethnic lineages and religious differences — a characteristic shrewdly reinforced by colonial masters. 

Before the First World War began, the British Empire was the epitome of power as the largest colonial empire in the world, controlling nearly a quarter of the globe. Britain had kept feeding its desire for dominance and continued to ignore its responsibilities toward its colonies for over two centuries. 

The British took extensive measures to exploit their colonies’ resources and manpower for the benefit of their motherland. They collected taxes that met Britain’s financial requirements and forced production of raw materials needed for Britain’s industries and exports, thereby ruining the colonies’ integrated and self-sustaining economies.

They ensured every spark of united opposition against them was suppressed with their policies such as the “divide and rule” strategy. The British highlighted religious differences to create discord as a means to facilitate their continued control of the colonies and to diffuse agitation against their misrule. 

This bigoted approach created deep-seated rivalries amongst religions that have yet to resolve, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An invisible wall stands rigid in people’s minds and the violence generated has left indelible marks in people’s psyche. 

While the British claimed to be on a civilising mission, their actions weren’t even remotely aligned to this objective and failed to demonstrate a liberal approach. The concept of civilizing such ancient cultures was a flawed concept to begin with. 

Compounded by unsatiated greed and imperialistic obsession, history has left no room to defend the British for the massive plundering and desolation placed over these countries.

The British displayed short-sightedness in their promises during the First World War when they promised the Jews a separate homeland in modern-day Palestinian region, while they’d already promised the same to the Arabs.

The Allies carved out nations thoughtlessly, without considering the ethnic and religious distinctions. Thus, they failed to ensure the future prosperity of the region. 

In Saudi Arabia, anti-semitic views are instilled in children at an early age, according to “Saudi Arabia Uncovered,” a documentary by James Jones. As ruthless as these teachings might be, they’re an unhappy, important reminder of how deeply rooted these divisions have become.

Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates have been successful in building their new society not on European norms, but rather on the essence of what seemed viable for their society and culture. Many women in the Middle East still wear burqas as a cultural obligation and the official languages of these countries are native. 

While Middle Eastern nations adopted Western emphasis on scientific and political advancement, they only inculcated the best for their country instead of imitating the world of the West in totality. Engagement with the Westerners equipped people with superior skills making the country potentially capable of competing with the West. And today, the abundance of oil and other natural resources has elevated the trading status and wealth of nations such as Egypt. 

Despite the flourishing commercial sector of these nations, the political system isn’t thriving today. The U.S., in conjunction with Britain, invaded Iraq to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein. While the invasion initiated the setup of a parliamentary form of government in Iraq, it also set ablaze insurgencies against the government and the rise of jihadist groups, such as ISIS. 

While U.S. intervened in Iraq under the guise of humanitarian goals, the circumstances didn’t move toward betterment. Moreover, the invading countries haven’t demonstrated an initiative for rectifying the situation. 

Actions of these so-called powerful countries show the game of establishing superiority hasn’t receded. Countries edge and elbow each other to win international dominance: whether that be on military power, politics or economic matters.

Over the years, people from these countries have migrated to countries of the West that are supposedly secure with proper law enforcement. Unfortunately, they aren’t received openly, struggle to be documented immigrants and are denied their rights. It’s hard to deny that immigrants experience unequal treatment in the U.S. and not all of them find a place for themselves.

In this race to be the most powerful nation, humanitarian actions are no longer innate. 

Intervening for selfish interests by overlooking human responsibility doesn’t make a nation more powerful. Although the human species is a single community, divisions have been drawn as provinces, countries and continents. It’s thus imperative and obligatory to openly provide selfless assistance of an unworldly nature looking beyond the contrived boundaries. 

(Visited 2,009 times, 143 visits today)
Next Story