Amidst all this talk about Globalization: United We Stand, Divided We Fall! [Archives:2001/52/Focus]

December 24 2001

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
Continuing where we left off last week, it goes without saying that the ills faced by the Moslem World, in general and the Arab World in particular are more the fault of the people of both the Arab World and the Moslem World, before we can point the finger at imperialists, Zionists and all the other foreign forces that have taken their pleasure at our weaknesses and made the best out of them to serve their interest and to execute their designs for our nation.
This is not to say that we have only failed in confronting the enemies of our nation, we have failed in providing the right environment for the continued stability and growth of our nations in the right parameters that will enable our Moslem populations all over the world to enjoy the standards of living that are readily accessible to most of the populations of the modern world, while at the same time giving our nation, the Moslem Ummah, the strength to fend off any aggressive policies unleashed against it by its enemies. Moreover, we have in general failed to institute responsible governments that are in keeping with the very principles laid down to us in the Quran and in the uncorrupted traditions of the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I say uncorrupted, because, needless to say, based on the politics of the day, evil rulers have either forced or coerced Moslem scholars to devise “traditions” that serve their interests or discourage the Moslem constituencies from taking a more active role in determining the political and social course of Moslem societies, which theoretically, is a great abomination that distorts the reality of Islam and works to undermine the political and social ordinances that the Quran clearly lays out. Thus, the Ummah began to encounter splits within the nation and the sectarian divisions (Sunni, Shiite, Wahhabi, etc.) all set in to require stronger allegiances to such divisions rather than the more important adherence to the basic tenets of Islam, on which all Moslem sects agree upon and which are indivisible. As Moslem government became more concerned with narrower interests, namely the welfare of those at the helms of power, the Moslem state became broken up into several other mini Moslem states, with lesser harmony and congeniality between them as time went on.
By the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the Western powers have found it easy to overtake any challenge brought on by any Moslem state, and worked diligently to remove even the concept of any universal Moslem Ummah, by ensuring that the idea of a Caliphate or Imamate be absolved from Islamic political thought, as being reactionary or primitive.
Notwithstanding the evils that were manifested by many of the caliphs and imams over the ages, there were many Moslem scholars over the ages, who still continued to challenge the legitimacy of corrupt and ungodly regimes that prevailed over the ages and to these scholars the Moslem World is indebted for keeping alive the basic fundamentals of Islam in government and in social affairs. Many of these scholars gave their lives or were severely persecuted, but to this day are revered by the Moslems of the world than most of the tyrants and dictators that took the helms here and there in the Moslem World, while some of the Moslem rulers are even cursed by devout Moslems for their tyranny and autocracy, as violators of the freedom and rights that Islam insisted upon for all Moslems.
Thus, the Moslem World is now at a stage where all this background makes it more tenable for Moslems to start looking inward for solutions to their plight, and to seek immediate and effective remedial actions that will remove most of the ills faced by Moslem states. It goes without saying, that it is imperative for Moslems to revise the sense of universalism, which Islam invoked and to make it clear that the prosperity of or calamity of any Moslem nation is the prosperity and the calamity of all Moslems. Furthermore, it is imperative that there should be greater transparency practiced by Moslem governments, and a greater effort to develop political consciousness among the Moslem constituencies, through greater participation in decision making and in deciding the political course of the nation, as individual states and collectively.
On the other hand the collective experiences of such regional organizations as the European Union, could be a very good model to lean upon for guidance as to determining how the collective and individual status of Moslem states should be developed and how to start the cultural flow that will give the vitality for stimulating political, social and cultural development throughout the Moslem World, not to mention the importance of the need for greater capital flow between the “haves” and the “have-nots”, in the form of investments and generous development aid, while at the same time stressing the importance of sound management practices in all areas of development, especially when it comes to eliminating corruption and the imposition of accountability and responsibility for good or bad performance, with the appropriate measures that encourage the former and that penalizes the latter accordingly.
More important, one would hope that organizations like the Moslem World Conference and the Islamic Development Bank, as well as the regional development and political organizations, would be the first to start defending such basic fundamentals and promoting the imposition of sound responsible government within the Moslem Ummah as an imperative step to thwart any aggression or design by hostile enemies to Islam, and to start working towards gearing Moslem states for facing up to the hard awful realities that we are being subjected to mainly by our own doings:
Allah does not change whatever any people are facing,
Until they bring change upon themselves!
(The Holy Quran)
Can it be said any better than the way Allah has said it so powerfully?!