Burgeoning Gap in Global Muslims Solidarity

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It took almost 100 years for the process of regeneration of Muslim identity in South Asia influenced by the gradient of Arab Nationalism and Pan-Islamism. Islam came to the subcontinent in 712 AD and in Persia, the Muslim conquest was in 651 AD; the point to mention this here is to put a spotlight on the Islamization of Asia and reformation of Asian Muslim identity when the global political landscape changed from mercantilism and colonialism to post-world-wars liberal capitalism. The post-colonial history of the region is another uniqueness that binds many Middle Eastern countries to their Muslim counterparts in Asia –particularly in South Asia.

In the late nineteenth century, the ideology of Arab nationalism gained great traction in the Middle Eastern region; springing up from the modern discourses of Islam of the nineteenth century and congealed by vehement anti-imperialist political movements of times. The Muslim identity was pivotal to these regional political movements but in a broader context, it was an attempt to rejuvenate their Arabian ethnic makeup regardless of the religious association of people of the region including Christians. Scholars trace the roots of Pan-Islamism in the Arabian Nationalism of the twentieth century and claim that it had and the unconceivable repercussion on the non-Arab anti-imperialist Islamic movements, especially the freedom movement of Pakistan.

Pakistan was the only country of its time to be created in the name of Islam and one of three countries having the title of “Islamic Republic” in its official name. Another non-Arab Muslim country of the Middle East, and bordering with Pakistan is Iran. Both countries share the history of Islamic invasion from the Arab region and acted as the cradle of Islamic civilization on the continent afterward.

The idea of greater The Middle East and a supra-structure of Muslim countries failed to materialize in the times of the cold war as well, as a smaller imitation of this unison called “United Arab Republic (1958–1961)” was brutally defeated put an end to all such hopes. In its aftermath, not only the Middle Eastern Muslim states but others also had to choose a lesser evil between a communist ally and a western capitalist power.

The colonial legacy, as well as the diplomatic and economic entanglements of young Muslim nation-states with western imperial masters and capitalist powerhouse US, hindered Muslim Asia as well as the oil-rich Middle Eastern states to pursue a foreign policy agenda of the united Muslim region, as defined by the theory of interdependence. However, the establishment of OIC was a great leap in the foreign relations of Muslim countries and could act as a catalyst for materializing a larger Muslim collation.

Until the end of the cold war, the resettlement of Palestinian Muslims, and illegal occupation of Israel and its expansion remained the zenith of bilateral and multilateral forums like OIC where Pakistan’s indelible support is worth mentioning. Other cases rendering Muslim nations as a cohesive force in international diplomatic forums was the issue of Kashmir but due to economic dependency and political affiliations, the idea of unity faded away.

A recent case brought attention to the Arab state’s preference of economic gains over the notions of Muslim unity when notwithstanding the resistance of Pakistan, Gulf countries extended an invitation of the OIC summit to the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Ms. Sushma Sawraj (late). Moreover, the Gulf States also awarded the highest civilian award to PM Narendra Modi, who is leading the fascist factions like BJP and RSS -the perpetrator of terror on Muslims of India, especially ones belonging to Gujrat, Assam, and Kashmir. This accolade was presented to the Indian premier by neglecting his fearmongering campaigns, unfair and unequal treatment of Muslim citizens and immigrants in his newly established preferential policies.

A ray of hope for reintegration and rising solidarity among Muslims of the world emerged when a special envoy on the issue of violation of ceasefire and LoC in IOK and Azad Kashmir was sent to Pakistan for assessing the situation, coinciding with the renewed campaign of islamophobia led by India. In order to overcome the dilemma of identity disparagement of Muslims, there is a need to unite and defend such malicious actions.

By bridging the historical, ethnic, and cultural gaps between the versatile global Muslim populations, we can reinvigorate and imbibe the sense of kinship and belonging among Muslims of the world. Only then, we can emerge as a larger cohesive and invincible force in the international landscape.

 

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