AHC: A More Secular Middle East

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by kernals12, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    Religion has an unusually strong influence on life in the Middle East. We even have states like Saudi Arabia and Iran that are virtual theocracies. Can we make the MENA region more secular?
     
  2. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    The Nejd region of Saudi Arabia (the central plateau, the region in control of the country) has always been like this, they are the ones that invented Wahhabism and salafism (in fact, for a long time they had laws prohibiting nejdi women to marry muslim man from other parts of the muslim world). If you keep them from conquering Hejaz (with the legitimacy granting mosques) and al hasa (persian gulf region, full of shias and oil). Without Hejaz and the endless suply of petrodolars, there is no way the saudis will be able to spread Wahhabism like they did in otl. Of course you would also need all the 20th century secular national projects that failed in the muslim world to succed on their own merits. Keep in mind a lot of those movements and regimes are quite tied to diverse forms of socialism so they may see problems surviving the cold war.
    About the Cold war keep in mind USA actions against many of those secularists governments and also their repeated suport to islamists.
     
  3. kholieken Well-Known Member

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    More successful communism/socialism ?
     
  4. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

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    The House of Saud either never comes to power or tells the Wahhabi faction to fuck off with their hardline brand of Islam. That and the US/UK decide to try to work with Mossadegh rather than overthrow him, averting the Islamic revolution.
     
  5. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    More successfully Pan-Arabism/Arab nationalism, and avoiding Iranian revolution or keeping the Islamists from gaining power.
     
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  6. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Mossadegh, a problem is that it's possible that if he remained in power, there may have still been an Islamic Revolution, but against him, instead of against the Shah. It should be noted that he had land reform plans, as noted in https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-against-mossadegh-fail.423678/#post-15396148, if those plans weren't very different from the Shah's land reform, of our timeline, they would probably have had the same disastrous effects but with social grievances being direted against Mossadegh instead of against the Shah. The clericals had also turned from supporting Mossadegh to opposing him. Unfortunately, Mossadegh's secularization efforts could have led to a conservative backlash, as the Shah's did, in our timeline.
     
  7. DocJamore Well-Known Member

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    Most of Saudi Arabia's oil is in the North East near Kuwait. If that area had been given to Kuwait by the British or had gotten Independence (plausible since the the area is majority Shia), the Saudis and Wahhabism would have been much less powerful.
     
  8. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    It's not impossible to see Mossadegh working *with* the USA, leading to their combined efforts squashing any attempted revolution. The Soviets aren't going to touch Islamists in their backyard with a ten foot pole.

    Beyond this, the House of Hashim beating the Saudis for control of Arabia, and as a result launching a crackdown on Wahhabism, works as well. Butterflying or greatly altering the State of Israel will also be interesting to see (nothing unites like a common enemy, after all).
     
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  9. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    That's a cure that's worse than the disease.
     
  10. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    How ?
     
  11. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    Pan-Arabism was a racist ideology that was predicated upon repression of Kurds, Copts, Maronites, and Jews, amongst others. It preached Arabs as a master race.
     
  12. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Have the Rashidis defeat the Saudis instead of what happened IOTL?
     
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  13. Noscoper Well-Known Member

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    By that logic German Unification is predicated on repression of the Polish, French and Danes.

    Expect there no ideology base or anything inherit in the ideology demanding that and There were Kurds or mixed-race in the pan-Arab movement.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taha_Muhie-eldin_Marouf
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taha_Yassin_Ramadan
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Karim_Qasim

    Both religious minorities not Ethnic minorities

    Where ? and which branch?
     
  14. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Simple: don’t have the Middle East fall to become Europe’s playgrounds.

    A lot of these nuts turned dogmatically to faith to cling to the past and tradition like we’ve seen in other politics.

    Having the Ottoman Empire endure and maybe absorb all of Arabia would secularize all right and Iran also could secularize by pacifying the clerics
     
  15. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    The Ottoman Empire would only survive by butterflying away WW1, and that's a whole other can of worms.
     
  16. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty I think this requires a POD or PODs that predate the 1900s. Secular traditions in the Christian/Western world took centuries to take hold.
     
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  17. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    The Shah worked with the USA and that didn't prevent the revolution.
    I agree on the second point, though, having either the Rashidis or the Hashemites defeating the Saudis and uniting Arabia would probably create a more secular Middle East and maybe even a more secular Muslim/Islamic World, in general.
     
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  18. Arcavius Arms and the Man I Sing

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    The Shah's dictatorial tendencies alienated the Iranian people to a degree that I doubt a continued Mossadegh-style democracy would, thus making the parallel insufficient.
     
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  19. Pesterfield Well-Known Member

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    Would the Grand Mosque seizure be too late?
    Despite the plotters being executed King Khaled basically gave into their demands. What if he uses the seizure to justify a purge of religious hardliners?
     
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  20. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    That or they win WW1, since the Germans would help them and then oil is discovered and the Ottomans become mighty once more