Dr. Abdul Haq Azozi
Sunday 12 August 2012
Last Update 12 August 2012 6:58 am
King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has called for an emergency summit of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Makkah on the 26th and 27th of Ramadan to address the concerns and imminent problems of neighboring Islamic nations.
Professor Ikmaluddin Ihsan Uglo, Secretary General of the OIC, stated that “The Islamic world is now going through its hardest time since the first World War. These difficulties are coinciding with change storming five Arab States in the region and which subsequently require deep collective thought at the summit.”
Modern nation-states, many of which were born after the Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916, are suffering a throttling structural crisis. These include Arab countries in the African continent, most notably Sudan, which has separated from its southern region and is consequently facing imminent defects in an already dwindling system, not to mention Somalia, a weak country on all levels. The revolutions in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia have yet to reap the fruit of their effort by creating stabilized development and effective democracy. Further north, the situation in Iraq, in spite of recent improvements, is still suffering from sectarianism. Yemen is still looking for a way out of its political crisis, Syria is suffering at the hands of a regime that kills people in ways humanity has rarely witnessed, and Libyan arms have been smuggled through the Syrian coast into the southern desert, giving way once again to terrorists in the region.
The King of Saudi Arabia hopes to create an engaging atmosphere where rulers find themselves at ease to discuss the specificities of their nations problems.
There are several lessons that can be reaped from such an initiative. Firstly, any nation-state would know by now that its strength is contingent upon the unity of its people. Foreign tutelage is no longer effective and citizens are the only lasting source of empowerment and prosperity to their nation. As such, reform should come from within states through progressive thinking, which showcases the nation-state's prestige.
Hopes for an integrated, all-inclusive Arab-Islamic system are still high. The current system as we know it has been defective for decades. Neither the founding of the Arab League nor the bilateral agreements, nor even the establishment of sub-regional groupings, has helped Arabs catch up with the progress of the European Union, the Asian systems or the United States.
In other words, the Arab World has thus far been out of the running in the international system. This fact begs the question, do we possess the dynamics that can push us to form regional unity? If so, then why have we failed to achieve this? Some observers explain that reasons for this include disputes over power and influence among Arab leaderships, the disparity of resources from one state to another and Western-Israeli influences on unity in the region.
Arab States must now revise their strategy in forming alliances and regional integration in order to achieve development. This includes abandoning the fear of immigration from poor Arab states to richer ones.
The same fear existed in Europe before the Union came to being and has since been abandoned only to witness prosperity and relative congruence between social forces. States should involve their people in the development process and establish economic systems that ease living expenses. Through this formula, the pan-Arab dream that has existed since the Sykes-Picot Treaty almost a century ago shall finally find its feet.
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