Lack of unity among Muslims By Waqas Bhatti. Lack of unity or support from other Islamic countries is a debate that is gaining traction in recent times. There are about 56 countries and 1.3 billion Muslims in the world but they lack unity. This is because, unfortunately, all the Muslim countries are at loggerheads with one another owing to geopolitical, economic, and security reasons. The division of interests has hindered the Muslim unity that is needed to protect their diminishing global interests. This has allowed the West to further drive a wedge among Muslims. This has been formulated to smartly divide Muslims so that they do not pose an appalling threat to the political, economic, and cultural hegemony of the West.
The failure in solving the most pertinent issues is a very fine depiction of the disunity and lack of support from Islamic countries. The Kashmir issue captures the popular imagination of Muslim leaders globally. Moreover, If we look into the Afghan crisis there is no unity among Muslim countries to curtail the Afghan crisis. Further, the role of the Muslim world regarding Uyghur Muslims has proved to be a failure. According to the United Nations, human rights officials estimate that 1 million or more Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities are detained at camps in a huge Chinese detention system. Many former detainees allege they were subjected to attempted indoctrination, physical abuse, and even sterilization.
In 2019, nearly 37 nations, in a letter sent to the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended China’s Xinjiang policy. The letter charged the Uyghur Muslims with spreading terror and extremism and justified China’s actions as counter-terrorism measures aimed at deracializing Uyghur Muslims. Notably, 16 of the 37 countries have a large Muslim population, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Kuwait, Somalia, and Sudan. The countries are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing 1.9 billion Muslim people. That explains why even the OIC is silent on the Uyghur genocide. Lack of unity among Muslims By Waqas Bhatti
There are several causes why Muslim countries lack unity. Improper management and equality among Islamic countries hamper the Islamic countries from being united. There is sheer nepotism, sectarianism, and corruption in several Islamic countries. Major populations in Asia and Africa live in poor economies. Whereas the world’s wealthiest nations, the Gulf Arabs, have relatively small populations. They won’t distribute their wealth equally to the rest in the spirit of pan-Islamism. This is one of the factors that create a lethal impact on unity.
One of the major causes is also a lack of leadership. There is no Muslim leader in the world that could unite the Muslim world together. That is why there is division among Islamic countries.
Islamic countries should establish Islamic media to portray the real image of Islam in the world like Pakistan, Turkey, and Malaysia have decided to jointly launch an English language television channel dedicated to confronting Islamophobia and removing “misperceptions” about Islam. To conclude, every Islamic country needs to accept cultural and religious differences. Every Islamic country should promote brotherhood among one another.
Further, there has been a major conflict and wars among Islamic countries that have fueled disunity among them. For instance, the Saudi-Iran rivalry is a supreme factor of disunity. The rivalry today is mainly a political and economic struggle worsened by religious differences, and sectarianism in the region is exploited by both countries for geopolitical purposes as part of a larger conflict. Iran is largely Shia Muslim, while Saudi Arabia sees itself as the leading Sunni Muslim power.
Moreover, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait war also played a vital role in dividing the Muslim world. This war was called the Persian Gulf War, also known as the First Gulf War, (1990–91), an international conflict that was aroused by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait with the obvious aim of obtaining that nation’s large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraqi power in the region.
The Syrian war was another factor for Muslim disunity. The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing brutal conflict in Syria between pro-democratic insurgents and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s longstanding dynastic regime. The war has been a source of significant unstableness in the Middle East since 2011, and the resultant civilian displacement and refugee exodus constitute one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. The hatred which prevails in the Western media is a major reason for disunity in the Islamic world. The Western media has always shown a negative picture of the Islamic world. The Western media has badly affected culture, education, and language. Lack of unity among Muslims By Waqas Bhatti
Therefore, there are ways forward by which this issue can be resolved.
The first one is the OIC must play its role to curtail this menace. It is the second-largest organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The OIC should not be biased and it must play the role to unite the Muslim world.
Secondly, If Muslims all over the world expand cooperation in political, diplomatic, economic, educational, social, and cultural fields, and promote commercial relations amongst themselves, they can appear as one of the most powerful and cohesive groups in the world. By doing so, they will bring stability to international political, economic, and security systems as well. In the current age of interdependence, cooperation at regional and international levels is essential for improving peace and stability in the world.
Nations collaborate in their national interests. When national interests of nations coincide with or complement each other, cooperation amongst these nations is a natural outcome in their interstate relations. Such cooperation is exemplified in the form of regional or international organizations in the field of politics, commerce and trade, defense and security, and environmental protection, and so on. The cooperation in defense and security is manifested in the shape of various alliances, coalitions, collective security, and collective defense arrangements/pacts. The cooperation must be implemented. This is a panacea to this ill.
Thirdly, there is another way forward that Ijtihad should be implemented to minimize sectarianism. Many Muslims believe that they must choose between Islam and modernity or between Islam and democracy, but serialize choices. To reinterpret Islam for the 21st century, the practice of ijtihad (interpretation and reasoning based on the sacred texts) must be revived. Religious scholars effectively discontinued the practice of ijtihad 500 years ago. But the beliefs of interpretation are well organized and the need for contemporary interpretation is compelling.
Islamic countries should establish Islamic media to portray the real image of Islam in the world like Pakistan, Turkey, and Malaysia have decided to jointly launch an English language television channel dedicated to confronting Islamophobia and removing “misperceptions” about Islam. To conclude, every Islamic country needs to accept cultural and religious differences. Every Islamic country should promote brotherhood among one another. Lack of unity among Muslims By Waqas Bhatti.