Syria is burning, not because of the Arab Spring or Tyranny or Twitter, or any of the other popular explanations. The fire in Syria is the same firestorm burning in Iraq, in Turkey, in Lebanon and throughout much of the Muslim world. It has nothing to do with human rights or democracy. There is no revolution here. Only the eternal civil war.
Most people accept countries with ancient names like Egypt, Jordan and Syria as a given. If they think about it at all they assume that they were always around, or were restored after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. But actually the countries of the Middle East are mostly artificial creations borrowing a history that is not their own.
When Mohammed unleashed a fanatical round of conquests and crusades, he began by wrecking the cultures and religions of his native region. And his followers went on to do the same throughout the region and across the world.
Entire peoples lost their history, their past, their religion and their way of life. This cultural genocide was worst in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. But the Middle Eastern peoples lost much of their heritage as well.
The Muslim conquerors made a special point of persecuting and exterminating the native beliefs and indigenous inhabitants they dominated. Israeli Jews, Assyrian Christians and Persian Zoroastrians faced special persecution.
Conquered peoples were expected to become Muslims. Those who resisted were repressed as Dhimmis. But those who submitted and became Muslims suffered a much worse fate, losing major portions of their traditions and history. They were expected to define themselves as Muslims first and look back to the great day when their conquerors subjugated them as the beginning of their history. Their pre-Islamic history faded into the mists of the ignorant past.
But Islam did not lead to a unified region, only to a prison of nations. The Caliphates, like the USSR, held sway over a divided empire through repression and force. Many of those peoples had lost a clear sense of themselves, but they still maintained differences that they expressed by modifying Islam to accommodate their existing beliefs and customs.