IN the current global scenario, a country cannot live in isolation. The world has literally been transformed into a global village wherein interests of various countries are intertwined. This is the very reason behind formation of several international unions so as to enable various countries help coordinate with each other effectively for mutual gains.
Numerous international organizations such as the United Nations founded on the heels of the World War II, the European Union founded during the Cold War, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (renamed Organization of Islamic Cooperation), the Arab League, the Warsaw Pact (reformed as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization), NATO and the Socialist International are all active within the framework of their own policies.
Unfortunately, none of these organizations have so far succeeded in weeding out evils from the world. The only rational thing to do is therefore for people who espouse goodness; love and affection get united against those groups that are allied with evil. For years, materialist and imperialist currents have led to wars, occupations and destruction and still pose a great threat to humanity.
If the Islamic world wished to emerge as a power, stable and prosperous bloc among the comity of nations, it must act as one.
The importance of unity has become more important in the current scenario. Absence of unity is preventing a common voice being heard from the Islamic world. These divides have left innocent Muslims at the mercy of others and literally unprotected. Helpless women, children and old people in many countries like Syria, Palestine, Bangladesh, and Myanmar etc. are all waiting for their brethren to save them from persecution. These innocent people are the responsibility of the Islamic world more than anyone else.
We must not forget that Islam orders Muslims to forge unity among their ranks. And Allah has ordered Muslims to strive together if they are wronged.
We need to wage an intellectual struggle and get united against injustice and violence of human rights. It is high time Muslims formed an alliance on the lines of the European Union envisaging broader economic, political, military, social and cultural collaboration. If one studies the idea carefully, he/she would be surprised that the geostrategic location of the entire Muslim bloc makes the idea viable and easy to implement and if we pool all our resources and ease trade and travel regimens, the results will be beyond our imaginations. We will have an edge over all such unions, as ours will be a union of love, friendship and willingness. In that respect, the Islamic Union will be a grand union of peace envied by all.
All the Muslim countries that join the Islamic Union must promise to respect the independence, equality and sovereignty of the states in their common territory. In this way, member countries will maintain their own state structures but be able to act as a common and single nation toward the outside world on those matters on which they agree to collaborate. Member states should be independent in their internal affairs, and must encourage resolution of disagreements through peaceful means. Protection of minorities as commanded by Islam should be ensured to gain respect worldwide. Of course, the tolerance inherent in Islam, meaning peace, and the conception of love and union of the Age of Felicity when our Holy Prophet (pbuh) was alive will be the reference points for the establishment of the fundamental principles of this union.
The OIC with its 57 member states has been active since 1969. In its present form, however, the organization is far from possessing the characteristics of this union of love we just proposed. Despite the fact that it is the world’s second largest organization of its kind after the United Nations, the effectiveness of this conglomeration is still questionable.
It was founded to resolve the problems of 1.6 billion Muslims and establish cooperation among countries. Unfortunately, it has miserably failed in resolving issues facing the Muslim world or in emerging as a strong voice supporting Muslim causes.
In the wake of the unrest in various Muslim countries in the Middle East, foreign powers had to fill the gap of authority and power and intervene to resolve the internal issues of the Muslim world. This is very saddening.
What needs to be done is the immediate establishment of a voluntary union that resolves problems, and looks to the development issues and problem resolution on a constant basis rather than just meeting once a year. It is time to act together to build an Islamic territory in which Muslims live in peace and tranquility in Islamic cities constructed with artistry, in which quality of life is raised to the highest possible level and where all of us embrace each other wholeheartedly. This is perhaps the only way to get rid of the negative impact of the so-called spring that has marred all prospects of peace and prosperity in the Muslim world.
n The writer has authored more than 300 books translated
in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.