Skip to main content

Dashed dreams


Irfan HusainSeptember 07, 2019

irfan.husain@gmail.com

RECENT events in our region have served to puncture the myth of the Muslim ummah. When Raza Rabbani, the PPP senator, suggested we should leave the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), he was just stating the obvious.

Far from being part of a vast, united brotherhood, Muslims have proved to be their own worst enemies. Over the centuries, they have spilled each other’s blood with a ferocity unmatched by any of their non-Muslim enemies.

And as the last few years show us, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen are continuing the murderous pattern established in the Islamic world since several hundred years. Pakistan, too, has contributed its share of killers and victims.

Despite this continuous mayhem in the Islamic world, we remain convinced — blind to the mountain of evidence before us — that Muslims around the world are part of a brotherhood, and that they will come to each other’s help when the need arises.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

Tell that to the Palestinians or the Kashmiris of IHK. Both are more isolated than ever as nobody wants to antagonise either Israel or India. The fact is that all nations act in their own self-interest. So when the ruler of the UAE gives Modi his country’s highest civilian award, he is indifferent to the fate of Kashmir. All he wants is better relations with India, the regional giant.

The OIC has emerged as a toothless tiger.


Similarly, sympathy for the Palestinians among Muslims has evaporated over the years. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in the ’70s, and is now actively engaged in imprisoning the people of Gaza by shutting access to the Sinai desert. The Saudis are in de facto alliance with Israel and the United States. Their agenda rests on their visceral hatred for Iran. And if an Indian firm has recently entered into a multi-billion dollar agreement with Aramco, the Saudi oil company, we should not be surprised.

Granted, many of the recent conflicts in the Muslim world have been triggered by Western interventions. But the jihadists who have carried out numerous attacks have all been Muslims, and they have mostly been radicalised by Wahhabism’s interpretation of Islam. In many verified cases, they have been armed and paid by Saudi individuals and organisations.

Tens of thousands of men, women and children in Yemen have been killed by incompetent Saudi and Emirati pilots, and the poorest country in the region has been reduced to starvation by the Saudi naval blockade. So much for Islamic brotherhood.

Tiny Qatar has been subjected to a pointless boycott; aircraft and ships are forced to take long detours to approach the country, avoiding Saudi and UAE waters and airspace. Its crime? Normal neighbourly relations with Iran, and playing host to Al Jazeera, the international TV channel that has been critical of many Muslim governments.

In all these conflicts, the OIC has emerged as a toothless tiger. In conflicts from Kashmir to Kosovo, it has been totally ineffectual. Its role over the brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank has been especially pathetic. So leaving the organisation, as Raza Rabbani has suggested, would be no great loss.

Given the many conflicts in Islamic history, what is the allure of the ummah and the caliphate? Why do so many Muslims keep harping about these ancient constructs? When Arabs were the only Muslims around, I suppose it made a kind of sense to appeal to tribesmen who shared culture, language and traditions to serve under the flag of a caliph.

However, as the faith spread across much of the world, different Muslim countries evolved along diverse paths. Their identities were shaped by cultures, languages and histories far removed from the Middle East. The thought of Indonesians going to war to defend Iraq, for example, made no sense. And nor were they going to be led by a caliph they played no part in selecting.

The caliphate is another moribund institution that has no role in the modern world. Who will accept a leader other than one with local credentials? After the murderous chief of the militant Islamic State group, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, declared himself caliph, there was no rush to join his cause. True, several thousand Muslims did make the journey to Syria, but once the IS began to crumble, they were disillusioned and are now dead, or in jail.

Ultimately, this craving for the caliphate harks back to a period when Muslims ruled much of the world. There is a notion that once the caliphate is restored and unity among Muslims miraculously forged, they will regain their place in the sun. The ummah thus reborn will defeat the West, and the long decline of the Muslim world will be reversed.

Dream on. It takes more than faith and petrodollars to become a strong, modern nation capable of standing up for itself. Education and hard work are needed, not slogans and empty threats.

irfan.husain@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2019


https://www.dawn.com/news/1504006

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

China's Raise as a Maritime Power

China's Rise as a Maritime PowerOcean Policy from Mao Zedong to Xi JinpingTAKEDA Jun’ichiSenkaku IslandsApr 23, 2014 PDF Download1. IntroductionThe international community has been viewing China's recent moves relating to the seas as representing "maritime expansion," and the Chinese themselves have come to talk about making their country a maritime power. In the political report he delivered in the autumn of 2012 to the eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which stands at the top of the country's power structure, General Secretary Hu Jintao declared, "We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power."1 This was Hu's final report as the top leader of the CPC; after delivering it he stepped down from his posts as general secretary and chairm…