Contemplating on Arab-Islamic development obstacles [Archives:2008/1154/Opinion]

May 12 2008

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh
How a serious examiner of the Arab-Islamic situations is likely to progress amid a spacious forest of darkness and through a path full of risks, which are the result of standing secondary disputes over minor ambitions. How it is possible for such an examiner not to turn sad or not to cry while realizing that situations of this Umma, which is capable to be the best one, is going from bad to worse, and the experiences of its peoples culminate with devastating failure.

The worst thing is that the tribulation of this nation and the reasons for its disputes are clearly traceable back to the very beginning of the Islamic Nation's appearance in the effective human theater and after this nation was armed with the divinely knowledge and spiritual signs that can not be dispensed with under any circumstances.

The just caliph Omar Bin Abdulaziz determined the prominent reasons behind deterioration of the Arab-Islamic Nation, by saying: “This nation has the same God, the same Prophet and the same Holy Book, but Muslims differ with each other in the dinar and the dirham.” This famous saying applies to the situations of the Islamic Umma since the age of the just caliph up until the moment when Muslims found themselves extremely engaged in sharp disputes over the dollar and other currencies.

Undoubtedly, all of them are Muslims, believe in Allah, recite the Holy Book and bear witness that Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) is the only messenger of Allah.

They have no differences over such great facts, but disputes emerge over the earthly affairs and gains, and this is the primary reason behind the fragmentation of Muslims, who never reach a consensus on their daily issues. The behavior of Muslims makes one bear in mind that they belong to different religions without any uniformed principle or logic.

No wonder that this conflict, which has terribly proliferated, got sharper and become the key challenge in the lives of Muslims irrespective of their variable lands and systems, is primarily responsible for Muslims' weaknesses.

It is this conflict that attracted junior and senior enemies to occupy the Islamic soil and produce the western Zionist entity, which is dominating the holy shrines of Muslims and splitting the Palestinian brothers.

Additionally, this conflict is the main reason behind the Zionist dominance over the Aqsa Mosque and excavation of trenches around it, as well as fencing it.

Conflicts over material gains and power between contemporary leaders of sects made one billion and half a billion of Muslims under a direct or indirect foreign occupation in their homelands without an exception.

Frankly speaking, the caliph Omar Bin Abdulaziz said the right thing about the Islamic Umma as Muslims differ with each other over material gains, but they believe in the same God, the same messenger and the same Book.

Certainly, this will remain the primary concern of Muslims until they manage to discover the real reasons behind their differences and disputes, as well as their fragmentation and internal conflicts.

They will also remain ruled and not rulers, importers and not exporters, and followers and not leaders. They will have no foreign forces to lend a hand in helping them overcome their persisting issues because they themselves decline to overcome their indecency, which is caused by the dirham and the dinar.

As evident through any prudence excerpted from studies of the real-life situation and experiences of peoples, all the standing situations will never help change what is inside the human souls, nor may they reduce destructive chaos and excessive engagement in earthly gains.

Turning point in international development:

Issues of Islamic and international development took center stage at the 2002 (UN-sponsored Johannesburg Summit, but the Middle East was virtually ignored in favor of partnerships with Africa and Central Asia. Indeed for the Middle East and other Muslim countries, issues of development and modernization have acquired new urgency in the context of transnational terrorist networks rising in the region.

The current war on terrorism, conducted by the United States in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, does not address the underlying sense of alienation among the Middle East's unemployed youths, who provide support for terrorist networks.

Sustainable human development in the region thus represents the ultimate solution to regional instability and to swelling support for terrorism. Policies pursued by the United States under the administrations of US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush adversely impacted regional conditions; even if the countries in the region achieve self-sustainable human development, continued US confrontations with Iraq and support for Israel at the expense of the Palestinians will surely aggravate the underlying conditions for terrorism.

The situation in the Middle East can be characterized as a new clash of globalizations that frames the processes of development and modernization in much of what used to be called the Third World.

Pressured to undergo extensive political and economic reforms, states in the region are caught between the imperialistic impulses of a neo-conservative Bush administration and other, apparently more benign, multilateral proponents of globalization, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations.

Meanwhile, some of the more radical Islamist opposition parties stand pitted against any such reform-oriented forces.

Source: Al-Thawra State-run Daily.