< < <
Date Index
> > >
See a Muslim View on Recent World Issues
by Seyed Javad
13 February 2002 22:16 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >

Dear WSN's members,

Here there is a voice from a Muslim perspective regarding the post-Cold War global re-arrangements which might be worth reading:

From: "Muzaffar Iqbal"
Subject: quantum note for feb. 1
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 08:02:49 -0700
Quantum Note
The Old Script
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
The News International, Feb. 1, 2002.
It would seem absurd, even outrageous, to claim that the fundamental drift
of history has not changed after September 11. But a sober reflection proves
just that. Nothing has changed in the essential nature of the post Second
World War era; only the pace of unfolding of events has accelerated and
that, too, seems to be in accordance with the nature of things.
The new world order that emerged after World War II was geared towards a
rapid expansion of the Western civilization. The enormous resources spent on
the reconstruction of Europe, a quick recovery of Japan and the emergence of
a powerful institutional base for this expansion were all meant to move the
world toward globalization. Moreover, this globalization was the one in
which the most powerful and dominant process was the westernization of all
cultures and societies.
The nation states which were carved out of the traditional Muslim lands were
inherently weak and structurally unstable. Even an elementary knowledge of
statistics and economics is enough to realize that they were “structured?to
keep them in a constant state of dependence on the former colonial masters.
For hundreds of years, they had been part of a larger entity which made it
possible for them to exist without any reliance on the West. They were
mutually linked, as constituting units of a larger entity. They had never
existed as independent states. They could not. The resources of these
states, the level and nature of their skilled manpower, their social and
economic structures were all built on mutual reliance.
For example, the region from which the colonial powers carved out the
contemporary states of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestine
was, for centuries, one unified region, called al-Shaam. Even now, there are
thousands of families in this region who live across these artificial
borders which were established in the most arbitrary manner by the colonial
Likewise, Central Asia, which was colonized by Russia, and which is now
witnessing a reign of terror under the rule of former communists-turned
Muslims, was always a distinct unity within the larger Islamic system of
communities. This vast region, with its fabled seats of learning at Marv,
Samarqand, and Bukhara, prospered because it could draw upon the resources
of lands further east, just as those eastern lands could complement their
needs from this arid region. Similarly, what are now the Gulf states used to
be one single region which was part of a much larger entity.
These regions had evolved as cohesive units in the larger framework of a
concept that has now become the scorn of cynics: Ummah. But let us note that
this is not a man-made concept; it is a bond among the believers that the
Qur’aan has established, and the Sunnah has sanctified. “All believers are
brothers [unto each other]? declares the Qur’aan in an unequivocal way. The
aberration produced by human follies cannot abrogate this divine rule.
The social, political and cultural patterns that had emerged in these Muslim
lands over centuries were violently disrupted by colonization. And they were
eventually replaced with new patterns that had no sanctity in the
civilization upon which they were imposed with violent force. Embedded
within the post-World War II world order was the scheme through which all of
this order and natural growth of the Islamic polity was disrupted.
The new nation states, that appeared on the world map, were cut on a model
which ensured their continuous dependence on the West. The mechanism was
simple enough. The government of the new nations states was passed on to a
small elite, consisting of Westernized military and civil “rulers?who
served as proxies. These were the first “northern alliance?founded by the
colonizing powers. To be sure, there were many versions of these proxy
rulers so that they could be rotated once in a while. This was the most
effective way of creating an impression of choice. While, in actual fact,
there was no difference between one and the other ruler, they fought with
each other to allure masses and to hide the real agenda.
In time, the personal interests of these rulers were deeply wedded with the
Western civilization. They amassed wealth and stacked it in Western banks,
their children studied in the Western universities and their personal
fortunes grew in New York and London stock exchanges. In order to enjoy a
Western lifestyle, they created western enclaves in their own countries:
Islamabad, Dubai, Istanbul, Tehran, Kabul, Amman and many other such cities
were created on the Western models to allow a small segment of population to
enjoy the benefits of western civilization while almost one billion other
human beings lived under degrading conditions, without the most basic civic
What is common to all these rulers is that they have no allegiance to the
religious, cultural and intellectual traditions of these lands. In a handful
of oil-rich countries, the rulers live a despicable life of debauchery.
Their faces turned westward, their hands extended to snatch the most vile
aspects of the western civilization, they aspire for nothing but their own
luxury and survival. The rest is a sorry lot which continuously look toward
the coffers of IMF and World Bank for their monthly rations. But these
bounties do not come free.Those who dole out millions to their chosen proxy
rulers, know very well where the money lands, how it is used and by whom.
They also know that their millions are not going to make any substantial
difference in the lives of the people of these lands. These modern
instruments of colonization are not interested in any development.
The proof of the failure of IMF-enslaved states is obvious: there is not a
single country in the world where all the collective wisdom and genius of
IMF and the World Bank has produced a successful and sustainable economy. It
should be clear by now that these institutions only dole out millions for a
reason. Their interest is only in “buying?rights for their clients: rights
for drilling oil wells, for use air space, and for band widths.
This mechanism, that came into existence after the Second World War, has
only needed minor fine tuning during the last half century. The collapse of
the Soviet Union has made no difference to the unfolding of this scheme,
except to consolidate it in fewer hands. The United States of America
remains the major player and with the former colonizers, England and France,
standing behind, ready to come to help, whenever needed. The proxy rulers
also continue to read the script handed to them.
Many commentators in the Muslim world as well as in the West, have garnered
a great deal of ingenuity since September 11 to explain the current events
as if a new historical situation has arisen. In fact, nothing has changed
except the pace of events.
On the other hand, those who have resisted this old script and who strive to
establish a society according to the teachings of the twin sources of Islam,
the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, are also not fault. Their failures and follies
provide reasons to their detractor for scorning the very idea behind these
efforts. For example, there is no lack of “Muslim intellectuals?who make
fun of the idea of an Islamic state because of what the Taliban did. They
fall into two errors.
Their first error is to assume that there is a ready made model of an
Islamic state that can be taken out of a box and imposed on a society. They
think of Islam as some kind of a magic formula that should automatically
produce a society where they can see Islam’s social justice, moral values as
well as great material progress. Their second error manifests when they do
not see this happening. This error leads them to scorn the very idea of such
a society where the hearts and minds of individuals and the collective will
of the people are imbued with an unearthly spirit based on the precepts of
The old script had found Jafar of Bengal and Sadiqs of Deccan, its new
incarnation has “northern alliance? The price in both cases is paid by
innocent victims of this grand drama which is churning out violence, poverty
and terror in the Muslim lands. But in spite of this, the scenario is not
completely bleak. Those who have remained steadfast in opposing this war,
which is now entering its third century, are learning and maturing. The real
task for such people is to clearly realize the stages through which such
struggles have always gone before victory. They should not fall prey to the
temptation of quick fix solutions. An Islamic society cannot come into
existence unless there are enough individuals who have realized the ideals
of Islam in their own lives. Islam cannot be enforced by promulgations by
governments; it grows organically, in a single heart at a time. Then these
hearts multiply, slowly and almost imperceptibly. And one day, the whole
society becomes Islamic.

Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: Click Here
< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >