The OIC and Its Role in NATO’s Expansionist policies
Hasan Yahya, Ph.Ds
The OIC and Its Role in NATO’s Expansionist politicis Hasan Yahya, Ph.Ds
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim Al-Salamu Alaykum Wa rahmatu Allah
Dear Charman, / Respective guests and audience/
From the United States I greet you all,/ and wish you a good time./
The conference took four to six months to be prepared,/
Thanks to Br. Kazi Mahmood of Malaysia./
The conference is an opportunity to promote peace worldwide,/ including the Muslim world. It shows the OIC and its role in NATO’s expansionist policies.
2. The OIC Role facing NATO’s policies.
is important subject to be selected for the conference/ OIC has multifaceted Roles to play for sure!/
But Are these roles effective as they’re played in the lasr 50 years?
Taking into consideration the challenges faced in the past and still facing the Muslim world today? The roles are not effective to influence internal or regional unity beside the NATO’s Policies. The lame structuring and performance of the OIC and its associations and committees are failing by the factors of illegality, and traditionalism. Where the common sense is rejected to serve the status quo.
While intellectuals and politicians have various types of assessment. In our case as social scientist: there is nothing worse than doing nothing! So, this lecture is an effort in the process of alarming the Muslim World of reality to wake up. To fulfil that task, the outline for this lecture includes: Assessment of findings: about The Muslim world: o Muslim today o Attacks on Islam o The Islamic Media o Race relations and discrimination o The Issue of Democracy o The Issue of secularization, some guiding lights in the Muslim world o The Issue of population o The economy and wealth o Weapon spending and depts. o Conflicts in the Muslim world. Internal, and external [local-regional] o Other OIC Small Problems o Some scenarios for solutions • NATO Strategic Interests in the Muslim world. [Istanbul and Meditterrainean] • OIC and NATO Compared as organizations. East and West. • The future of the Muslim world
o Muslim today As I see it, can be described as the fish for someone’s dinner,/ grilled on fire, or skinned by knife. But the fish might stop somewhere between the mouth and stomach, and may kill the eater. The Muslim world is too fragil, disunited, and weak. If it not help itself it will be eaten easily.
If the OIC play the roles expected from it, it might be powerful to unite Muslims and solve peoples’ problems, regaining Muslim identity and dignity and stand for NATO or other powerful Organizations, East or West.
o Attacks on Islam An atheist wrote lately, he gives 25 years for Muslims to leave Islam and convert to other religions He expects Islam to be avoided from Muslims themselves. I think he underestimated Islam in his statement. however, I say: Fact 1. Islam is not for sale, as a merchandise to be out of stock in 25 years; Fact 2. Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth, Fact 3. the 1500 years old Islam, with the great principles of human life, will not ever be defeated. Other Opinion: A question was asked to an atheist : Why so many people convert to Islam? He answered: Qoute “There are many attractive elements of the religion… appeal to many people who are disgusted with the current relativism and amorality of the Western world. Also there are many rich and grand aspects of Islamic history and culture which also make the religion attractive today.”
o The Islamic Media
The Media, helps In the propaganda East and west: The Western democratic media play a disgusting role in promoting discrimination when it comes to Islam and Muslims. Unfortunately, the Muslim practices are encouraging these media stereotypes about Muslims. Yes! Muslims are mostly illiterate, poor, have no unity, or power to control natural resources. Muslims have left other nations accepted domination.
And they are happy with it. Demonstrations here and there, do not solve the vast problems in the Muslim nations.
o Race relations
The issue of discrimination and racism: What role can the OIC play in this regard? Well, discrimination and sometimes racism, is practiced in almost all Muslim countries. For example, between Arab and non-Arab, citizen and non-citizen, rich and poor, city and rural areas, government and non-government employees, Muslims and non-Muslims. Gulf states citizens and non-gulf state citizens, and here in Asia, you are very familiar with discrimination issues in education of Bumi and non-Bumi. In his article, Islam condemns racial segregation of Muslims, Published Friday, 13, 2009.
Kazi Mahmood explains some un-Islamic practices in different countries especially Malaysia. He wrote:
“Islam has been taught in Malaysian schools for generations. In the early 1990′s when I set foot in Malaysia, I was given a clear picture how the primary schools virtually imposed the Malay version of Islam on the non-Bumi’s.” (Kazi, 2009)
These are obvious issues cannot be ignored among Muslim nations.
– Few families in the Muslim world still own the nations wealth without people representatives to share decisions concerning the nations wealth and services provided for all in these nations. Other few are governmental semi-democratic worse than the few families when it comes to true secularization and democratic rules. Law in many Muslim countries still absent from daily life.
Cultural practices are publicized not the Islamic practices to be proud of when others watch or see or hear. Example,
1) In the Financial Times there was an article: [The price of Hindu woman in some Muslim countries equals 1/33 of a Muslim life. How can we convinve people while Islam is taken as the State religion.
2) Misuse of nations wealth for personal and familial interests in many Muslim nations.
3) The literature on Islam which still cover much of what Kitab al-Aghani had of fictional stories, such as the sheikh agreement of OIL with the imperialists. In modern times: Shiekh’s tale: I don’t want to look, as a breacher of wisdom, therefore, I want to tell you this story happened in one Arab-Muslim country. The Story shows Arab generosity, or ignorosity.
– “La Yughayyiru Allahu Ma Biqawmin, Hatta Yughayyiru Ma Bi-‘Anfusihim” In fact, we publicize in many Muslim TV stations, setalite, and newspapers negative aspects of practices which I believe is true in most cases. Imitation without acculturation of programs, and adapting historical past life contribute in stereotyping of Muslims as backward in the ladder of civilization.
o The Issue of Democracy • If Democracy exists in that country and secularist practices are followed on logic and reasoning and freedom of speech, such agreement would not pass without consultations with experts in the field. • Democracy is not a religious council, nor an obligation to promote virtue and eliminate vice. It is the rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. Its tenets, however have nothing to do with religions. It is the supreme management of peoples’ life according to scientific knowledge and technologies. • Democracy is not religious tolerance, justice, or any other religious value. It is a civil principle, carriens similar values of religion of justice, equality, and economic progress, but on scientific grounds not on wishes of tribal traditional systems.
What role can the OIC play in this regard? Any reform issues, should be given to specialists, experts, and scholars who have sharp ideas and critical thinking approaches. Thinkers should be respected and employed to share planning for future of the Muslim world as part of seculatization process covers all aspects of life. o The Issue of secularization, some guiding lights in the Muslim world Secularization, is misunderstood widely in the Muslim world. It is not imitation of the west, it is a result of rapid cultural diffusion. At the core of secular nations, religion still surviving. Take for example, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Tunisia and Egypt as well as the western nations. Unfortunately, the elements of secularization in the west are sound in their logical sense. In the Muslim world, secularism is abide with tribal authoritarian systems, practice nepotism, favoritism and despotism. No foundation for a secular state to function on Justice, equality and human rights principles. Such foundations include associations, unions, NGOs organizations to help the government to positively function for the service of the people. What role can the OIC play in this regard in its present structure and functions? Theocracy, does not help in this regard. Unfortunately, Some prominent personalities like H.E. Shiekh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, attacks secularism, which calls for two gods, which is not true. Religion still alive and well, in the United States and Europe, as well as many Muslim countries. They are successful examples for democratics and secular systems side by side with religion. The idea of secularism these days has to deal with different races in the one country. Without laws govern the state on secular bases, any progress is doomed to fail on traditional grounds or theocratic teachings. o The Issue of population
The Muslim world politically constitutes 57 states: They are divided into two main sects: Sunnis, comprising 85 plus percent of the 1.5 billion Muslims globally. And Shi’a the well known history trouble makers: which is roughly constitutes 15 % of world Muslim population. They are found in and outside Iran and Azerbaijan, they consist three quarters of the poulation in each. In 2/3ds of Iraq and Bahrain population. in Lebanon 60 of the 60 percent of the population, 42 % in Yemen, 35 % in Kuwait, 15% in Syria, 20 % in Turkey and Pakistan and 15% in Albania . Iran 62 million, India 31 million, Pakistan 33 million, Iraq 18 million, and Turkey 15 million, total the bulk of 220 million Shi’as worldwide. Islam become two types of Islam, one is radical Shi’i, the other is peaceful majority, Sunni. What role the OIC may play supporting one sect against the other? while it has no mechanism in this situation?
o The economy and wealth In terms of population numbers, Arabs represent one seventh of the Muslims worldwide. Arabs own three quarters of the wealth of Muslim World taking into consideration the oil producing countries. The yearly income or the GNP in the Arab countries equals three folds of the GNP in the non-Arab Muslim countries. The following characteristics of both Muslim and Arab countries, which influence their march and progress in the ladder of civilization positively or negatively, they are:
In terms of wealth:
Three groups emerge in terms of wealth with large gaps exist between the three groups. – The first group is composed of the six Gulf states with an average GDP pc of $13,582. It was $7,104 in Bahrain, $16,900 in Kuwait, $4,680 in Oman, $20,820 in Qatar, $9,510 in Saudi Arabia, and $22,480 in the U.A.E. – The second group includes ten other Arab states with an average GDP pc of $3,553. It was $1,634 in Algeria, $2,490 in Egypt, $2,000 in Iraq, $4,280 in Jordan, $4,360 in Lebanon, $6,510 in Libya, $3,060 in Morocco, $5,000 in Syria, $4,250 in Tunisia, and $1,955 in Yemen.
– The third group is composed of the impoverished states of Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Palestine, Somalia, and Sudan. These had a GDP pc of average GDP pc in these states was $838.
Arabs and Muslims: Who are the Arabs? Arab countries share the Muslim countries in the population growth phenomenon. Even though it is considered to be less in the African Muslim countries than the Asian Muslim countries. It is still far from the zero growth achieved by Denmark and Sweden. In the year 2000, considering a growth increase of 2.65% percent in Arab countries, Arab population reached the 290 million figure. and projected in the year 2025 to be over 470 million. Population of the Muslims all over the world have passed the billion figure in 1985, and the 1.3 in the year 2000, and projected to be 1.6 billion in the year 2025. What role the OIC may play while it has no mechanism in the current situation?
o Weapon spending and depts. During 2006, the six Gulf Co-operative Council members (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Qater and Kuwait) alone announced thirteen major arms deals worth US$35 billion, while foreign forces are found in several Muslim countries, such as, Kuwait, Qater, UAE, Bahrain, Paksitan, in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan. With these numbers already in the Muslim countries, what role remains for the OIC to play? and what mechanism OIC should have? While each Muslim country is managing its own security and wealth? Away from this accommunlation of arms, some guiding lights in the march for development are observed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Tunisia, Iran and Egypt.
o Conflicts in the Muslim world. Internal, and external [local-regional]
In Nigeria: Conflict all over the Muslim world cannot be ignored: Let us look at the causes of conflict in recent history. In February 2006, Nigeria was the scene of violent confrontations between Muslim and Christian groups. Violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives in the past decade. It flared again in February 2006 when Muslim outrage at the caricatures of the prophet Muhammad led to a massacre of dozens of Christians in the north, followed by reprisal killings of Muslims by Christians in the south. As is the case in most “religious” conflicts, however, economic, political, and social forces play a significant role. This is certainly the case with respect to religious strife in Nigeria.
In Kenya, the church has become the most viable opposition to an authoritarian government. In Zaire, Liberia, and Mozambique, the Catholic church criticize regimes. In Algeria, Muslim leaders demand reform.
In other places, religious issues can be resolved by violence, Opposition to government policies by religious groups is fairly common and cover all types of religion all over the world. While opposition can be conservative, turn to more radical, as the Islamic militant groups in Iran, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In Mauritius , Hindu ethnic and religious communities clashes with the Roman Catholics and other Christians as well.
For centuries in which two or more dominant religions exist, tension tend to revolve around the propagation of faith. If one faith is dominant by the numbers, as in most North Africa, and the middle East, the minority religion plays the politics of survival, when one group become more assertive to dominates politics. To achieve religious homogeneity as apolitical strategy, many groups create enormous problem. For example,
In Sudan, when its leaders attempted to spread Islam and impose theocratic state, the civil war continues by inside and outside assistance and support. Islamic state in Sudan means attempts to resort to Islamic Law as a homogenizing strategy alienate the southerners. To solve the problem, both secular and religious governments have failed in Sudan, we still see the conflict get out its borders.
In Asia, there is yet no end to violence in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. May be because identities and communal nationalism remain intense. The demand for self-determination remains very strong which create pressure over governments.
– In South Asia, as any other country, the roots of violence has been traced to European Colonial politics and politicized ethnic relations. The lack of appropriate measures for minimizing communal politics contributes in failing solving such conflicts.
In India, for example, the state has reformed aspects of the Hindu religion(as eliminating the cast system), taken on multiparty democracy, and used force when it is necessary.
– In Pakistan, a nations where Islam is dominant, problems include the integration of women and their rights into the political system without offending conservative Islamic leaders, and how to develop democracy and an economic system that is sensitive to the poor and to the interest of religious minorities, who constitute about 3% of the population. In Bangladesh, the unitary state system has been successful in keeping homogeneous state together, but has yet to clearly define its own model of Islamic democracy or to prevent the recent mass migration of the minority Hindu to India.
In Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the strategy has been to use the unitary system to ensure the survival of the components of unity. The nation-state projects has not succeeded in solving the problems between Hindu Majority and the Muslim minority in India and similar Asian countries, but it has prevented the country’s collapse. Indian successes have been recorded, for instance in the area of democracy. While the Hindu now accept democracy and secular state, they seem to reject measures that would grant too many rights to the Muslim minority. Indian democracy has not succeeded completely to bring the general public or be able to overcome religious and ethnic differences.
– Poverty and social inequality, in many of these countries combined to create conditions for trouble. The worst situation in India that the secular arrangements had failed to integrate the Muslims of the country. Further, Muslims have been treated in Indian politics either as unfortunate cultural group deserving the sympathy and protection of the secular state, according to Ishtiaq Ahmed, “or as a despised and disloyal one fit to be relegated to an even more excluded and marginal position”. This may explain the intractable problem of Kashmir Islamic nationalism, demanding a separate state of their own.
The demand of Hindu fundamentalists to redefine the basis of secularism is one of the challenges that India faces in resolving its communal crisis .but it had certainly made progress in unleashing secular and democratic forces far better than the neighboring or African countries.
– China, however, dealing with minority Muslim population in the Western frontier of Xinjiang. The government has accused the Muslims of seeking separation, and of using terrorism to accomplish it. The muslims needed a greater share in the resources of their regions, , northern Iraq, including oil, and religious freedom, and nuclear testing in the region. They are pushed to use violence to express their demands. , targeting officials and anti-Islamic religious leaders.The Chinese government suppressed these demands, thousands of Muslims have been arrested. In fact they were defeated as aminority group consistes of 1.46% of the total population. By the rules of the SCO, they were became anti-government nationalists forced to leave the country to neighboring Islamic countries. – Muslims in Sri Lanka may have to do the same as their Chinese counterparts, but they have weaker position.
Furthermore, dealing with conflicts in the Muslim world: There are many ongoing conflicts in Muslim-majority lands may present an invitation to NATO to get in. Some Western analysts think that NATO would do something good for Muslims. Their logic depends on the following argument:
By the definition of most practicing Muslims, those Muslims that engage in killing, suicide bombings and terrorism are not real Muslims. They have merely hijacked the name of Islam. So if NATO should go in to those Muslim-majority lands and flush out the false Muslims, NATO is doing Islam a good service. NATO is doing the work that true Muslims should be doing, but failed to do so. Here are a few other places possible for NATO to go in:
Conflict on Somalia: – The War in Somalia This is an ongoing armed conflict involving largely Ethiopian and Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces versus the Somali Islamist umbrella group, the Islamic Court Union (ICU), and other affiliated militias for control of the country. The war officially began shortly before July 20, 2006 when Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia to prop up the TFG in Baidoa. Ethiopia entered hostilities because it faced a direct threat to its own borders. UN also stated that many Arab nations including Libya and Egypt were also supporting the ICU via Eritrea.
Somalia is a Muslim majority country under siege from Islamic terrorist groups. OIC has failed to solve this internal Islamic civil war problem. NATO may go in and wipe out this Islamic insurgency against the legitimate Islamic government of Somal.
Somali Piracy An offshoot of the above war in Somali is the numerous pirate attacks on cargo laden ships for huge ransoms. Due to the failure of the OIC and rich Arab nations to control their wayward brethren, NATO should step in and exterminate this cancerous blot on the face of Islam.
Conflict in Sudan: – The War in Darfur This is another Islamic civil war conflict now happening in the Darfur region of western Sudan. One side of the armed conflict is composed mainly of the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed, a militia group recruited mostly from the Arab Abbala tribes of the northern Rizeigat, camel-herding nomads. The other side comprises a variety of rebel groups, notably the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the land-tilling non-Arab Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit ethnic groups. The Sudanese government has provided money and assistance to the militia and has participated in joint attacks targeting the tribes from which the rebels draw support.
OIC and Muslims the world over stand by idly while Arab Muslims are raping and killing tribal Muslims in Darfur. It is sad to note that OIC is not taking this problem seriously as it involves continuous conflict. If international Muslims remain with no political will to solve a conflict involving their own, the NATO intervention to stop this conflict will be encouraged.
-The Fatah-Hamas conflict in Palestine is familiar side referred to as the Palestinian Civil War and the Conflict of Brothers began in 2006 and has continued, in one form or another, into 2008. The tensions between Hamas and Fatah began to rise in 2005 after the death of longtime PLO leader Yasser Arafat who died on November 11, 2004 and intensified after Hamas won the elections of 2006.
The role of the OIC was just too weak to do anything to ameliorate the situation. Maybe for this NATO may be pushed to get in to stop the brothers fighting each other or to be deployed between Palestinians and Israelis.
– The Ogaden Conflict in Ethiopia. the rebel Muslim Ogaden National Liberation Front in Ethiopia killed 74 people in an attack on a Chinese-run oil exploration field in April 2007. This provoked the Ethiopian Army’s war against the ONLF. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), various human rights abuses were committed by the Ethiopian Military and ONLF rebels. Hundreds of civilians were killed and tens of thousands were displaced in 2007 alone. Several human rights organizations compared the situation in Ogaden to the plight of civilians in the Darfur War in Sudan. Who may solve the conflict? NATO is a possibility to get in to enforce law and order. OIC til now seem to be not interested in this conflict between the Islamic insurgency against the Christian majority government of Ethiopia.
– The South Thailand insurgency. is a separatist campaign by Islamic rebels, which is taking place in the predominantly Malay Pattani region, made up of the three southern most provinces of Thailand, with violence increasingly spilling over into other provinces. – The death toll is 2,579 by mid-September 2007. The death toll surpassed 3,000 in March 2008. So far Thailand has not called for international help as she is confident of resolving the conflict herself. But if she does not, NATO could provide the peace keeping role.
– The 2007 Lebanon Civil War This is an indirect result of the rivalry between the Sunnis and the Shias. The 2007 Lebanon conflict began when fighting broke out between Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist militant organization, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) on May 20, 2007 in Nahr al-Bared, an UNRWA Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. The south was controlled by the Shia Hezbollah. Not to be outdone, the Sunni Fatah al-Islam waged a military war against the Lebanese Armed Forces to take over the Lebanese government. The Saudis covertly funded the Sunni Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah. Wherever you see the Sunnis and Shias living in a same country, you can expect trouble to erupt anytime. NATO will have enough room of welcome to control the situation.
– The Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq Until the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the Shia never governed a modern Arab state. They were in control in Persian Iran, but the Sunnis led most Arab states in the Middle East. The change in Iraq was a shock. Baghdad quickly emerged as a center of Arab Shiite power. The backlash among Sunni Arabs in Iraq quickly turned violent. The Sunni insurgency first targeted American troops, but soon, with the involvement of al-Qaida in Iraq, it attacked the Shia as well.
The targets: Shiite holy sites; Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad and elsewhere, and ordinary Shiite civilians, thousands of whom have been abducted and murdered. Since the Muslim world is too helpless to stop and solve this internal conflict, it should allow NATO to come in and stem the flood of senseless killing and violence among Muslim brethren. The OIC will have a role in this case, it will hail NATO as the hero that could save Muslims from self descruction.
The issue of Youth unemployment: Taking into consideration the increasing number of youth population (compromises 60 percent of any nation) as source of injustice in the Muslim societies.
1- The well-founded fear that their prospects of making a decent living are extremely limited, with young people, both educated and uneducated, unable to find suitable employment that can provide them with a reasonable standard of living.
2- The enormous gap between the haves and have-nots; not so much the fact that there is a gap as its sheer magnitude.
3- The ambiguity surrounding how the wealthy acquire their fortunes.
4- The high percentage of unemployment among the youth and disappearance of fairness from most fields of employment, where favoritism and nepotism count for more than merit. 5- The absence of personalities with leadership qualities in most areas.
6- The divorce between free-thinking and media on one side, and the executive branch of government on the other.
7- The absence of rule of law, which increase injustice by using the law to dominate the public.
o Other OIC Small Problems
OIC was an armchair doing nothing in small or large disputes cover the Muslim world. Aside from the supreme problem, the Palestinian Israeli conflict over Palestine, there are some smaller problems beset the Muslim world:
– These three Arab islands (Abu Musa, Tunb Al-Kubra and Tonb al-Sughra) were occupied by the Iranian forces in 1971 following the British withdrawal from the area.
– Neighboring disputes: Algeria and Morocco have dispute over the Spanish disert. Algeria and Sudan are still involved in civil wars.
– Regional disputes: While Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria were involved in regional wars,
– Weapon spending: By 1995, Iraq accumulated about $95 billion of debt. It was followed by Egypt $34.6 billion, Algeria $33.5 billion, Saudi Arabia $22.4 billion, Syria $22.2 billion, Morocco $22 billion, Sudan $17 billion, Tunisia $9.9 billion, Kuwait $9 billion, Yemen $8.9 billion, Jordan $5.9 billion, Libya $4.3 billion, Qatar $3.9 billion, the U.A.E. $3.9 billion, Lebanon $3.2 billion, Bahrain $2.8 billion, Oman 2.7 billion, Somalia $2.5 billion, Mauritania $2.3 billion, Djibouti $225 million, and Comoros $189 million
– Muslim Foreign Investment: By 1980, half of the Arab financial surpluses were invested in the U.S.A. and the U.K. In the U.S. alone, Arab investments reached about $100 billion from Saudi Arabia, $55 billion from Kuwait, and $40 billion from the United Arab Emirates. By 1990, the Kuwaiti investments in the West reached about $100 billion. The ruling elites in these Arab states became dependent on the West. Therefore, they are more than willing to invest their surplus wealth there rather than in their own neighborhood.
Nations under dept: While Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria were involved in regional wars, Algeria and Sudan are still involved in civil wars. By 1995, Iraq accumulated about $95 billion of debt. It was followed by Egypt $34.6 billion, Algeria $33.5 billion, Saudi Arabia $22.4 billion, Syria $22.2 billion, Morocco $22 billion, Sudan $17 billion, Tunisia $9.9 billion, Kuwait $9 billion, Yemen $8.9 billion, Jordan $5.9 billion, Libya $4.3 billion, Qatar $3.9 billion, the U.A.E. $3.9 billion, Lebanon $3.2 billion, Bahrain $2.8 billion, Oman 2.7 billion, Somalia $2.5 billion, Mauritania $2.3 billion, Djibouti $225 million, and Comoros $189 million. Although the calculations include Libyan revenues, they do not include Libyan military spending. The calculations also include oil revenues of the Gulf states and military spending of both the Gulf and states neighboring to Israel because the Gulf states finance major portions of the military spending in these states, too.
• NATO Strategic Interests in the Muslim world. [Istanbul and Meditterrainean]
NOW we come to NATO Strategic Interests in the Muslim world: NATO Interest: in the South Caucasus East-West Corridor, which, some commentators have said for years, is much more than three energy pipelines. With NATO allies Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey on the western and southern shores of the Black Sea, Georgia, on the eastern shore, is the natural gateway to a corridor that connects Europe to Afghanistan. Indeed, America and Georgia should explore the feasibility of securing a logistics node at, say, Batumi. Baku, fast developing as the east-west hub, would become the fulcrum of the corridor. Georgia and Azerbaijan offer reliable, enduring east-west transit based on genuine shared interests both have contributed forces to NATO in Afghanistan. Investments in the East-West Corridor would support near-term requirements in Afghanistan and would be down payments on the future. There is a call from Peshawar to Batumi it is time to realize the East-West Corridor.
For the NATO, Concerning the Muslim world there was two points mark NATO success in the Muslim world, I don’t know how the OIC will respond to these Points in its current structure and functions? 1. Istanbul initiative agreement for cooperation was made 15 years ago, to include last month agreement with Jordan following Egypt and Israel. The purpose was to secure peace and stability in the region. Such cooperation was developed to include counseling and to Energy and sea security. Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar were members of Istanbul cooperation initiative, nowadays, Saudi Arabia and Oman requested to be included.
2. The Mediterranean dialogue, seven Arab nations: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia are members , believe it or not, that dialogue includes our friend-enemy, Israel. Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, and Gaza Strip in 2008-9. Where both Istanbul initiative and the Mediterranean dialogue were mainly established to secure the region states. The NATO in fact succeeded to send some troops to Lebanon, and trying to send troops to the West Bank and Gaza. It will succeed, I think, the signs can tell. NATO claims that new challenges face it after 9/11, Energy weather changes, and electronic attacks. Therefore, still, it has a purpose. When we mention energy we mean Gas and Oil. These two are in the Middle East and central Asia. Both are vital in the Muslim world.
• OIC and NATO Compared, East and west Organizations.
The difference between the OIC and NATO is obvious. Unlike OIC, 1) leadership, tasks and challenges, are not taken by accident in NATO but by planning. These issues have professional teams to study it and present alternatives and solutions which I believe the OIC misses. 2) Another difference, is that the OIC, cannot bring any idea may stand against the government heads or reduce their heavy weight in the decision making process. While NATO, is free to invite any idea may contribute in finding solutions for the tasks and challenges NATO faces.
3) A third difference is power, what power the OIC has to stop the NATO from expanding? What opposition the OIC may present for NATO expansionist policies to cover the globe.
4) While NATO have the diplomatic and financial resources to suppress any opposition of the OIC members. OIC have no diplomatic power.
5) The OIC knows about NATO forces in the Arab and Muslim countries, for example: Nato forces in the Arab and Muslim countries is not a secret these days, in Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The NATO is there already, so what is the problem? For more exact numbers of NATO in the Muslim countries. In more specific numbers:
NATO Already in the Arab world: Foreign forces—apart from those in Iraq and Afghanistan —numbered more than 46000, mainly in Kuwait (25250), Qater (6540), UAE (13000) Bahrain (3000). There were a further 147460 in Iraq, these figures before US president in January 2007, announced an additional commitment of 21500. Obama sent recently some thousands.
In the contemporary Muslim world, nation members are weak individually, and their steps in civil society is ineffective, through the OIC they have little power to change western starategic policies toward the Muslim world. NATO, as a force machine is in serious need for the Muslim world for many reasons: – Gas and Oil pipelines through Afghanistan – Important Ocean and Sea locations In addition to these, there are two other factors reduce the ability and effective decision-making of the Muslim world, these factors are:
1) The USA support for Israel, and its appeal to join NATO is a serious matter, dealing with it is a serious need for the Muslims to be resolved., The OIC can play a vital role here! And
2) the domination over the Muslim world resources and politics. These factors stand as obstacles of Muslim world unity and solidarity. Therefore, the decision-making power of the Muslim world is not effective to face these factors.
o Some scenarios for solutions
Scenarios or possible solutions for the Muslim Nations or the OIC: In theory it is possible cooperation for reciprocal interests energy (Gas and Oil for Dollars) In practice, some of these countries have one eye on America, and the other on Russia and China, therefore they are sometimes with this and play with the other. The common interest between the Muslims and others may encourage projections: Four scenarios may explain such common interest.
Scenario One: The oil can be manipulated for the purpose of cooperation between nations, where all will have benefits of such resource (in a reciprocal dependency)-(with NATO and USA friendship).
Scenario Two: If there is no clear and sharp identity for the Muslim World, and Palestine continue to be a problem, The Muslim World will remain without such identity or unity, which may lead to personal and national security, in this case, the weak person usually be friendly with all, therefore, they support both great powers, or one of them according to international political game and arm spending and supply (with the NATO and USA).
Scenario Three: The Gulf countries as far as they perceive Iran as a foe, and they did not come to understanding about border disputation, they will stand with the Western side. (Enemy of my enemy is my friend.), they will be joining the Western powers and the NATO.
The fourth scenario: As a result, of disputes with Iran, I think Iran first, then Pakistan will join the SCO. Unless India was first, and after reaching an agreement over Kashmir, Pakistan may join. (But both Pakistan and India as well as Iran are potential jointers for SCO, in the near future. Unless China and Russia were serious to stand firm in the face of imperialism and domination, these scenarios will remain in play. To help the Muslim Nations to redirect their future, and get out of the terrorism cycle, they have to replace the OIC by another organization capable to include non-Muslim nations as well (from Africa, South America, and Asia).
The OIC Nowadays, is supposed to be wiser than early years of its initiation to curb Arab nationalism and replace it with Islamism through the effort of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. 50 years after its initition, it still traditionally organized, with capabilities limited by traditional political systems diverse in their diplomatic relations with the international community.
I think these causes make people angry and lead to violence, rejection, hostility and finally “terrorism” against political, cultural and strategic governmental plans serves certain parts and ignore other parts in each society. Such actions from a security perspective do a grave injustice to society and to all the parties involved, including the security institutions themselves. For at the end of the day, police methods are no match for phenomena with numerous political, economic, social and cultural dimensions. In any nation how much the group size, can be dangerous in any nation. While we know that these groups are not small. Those who believe in lack of social justice can call loudly for justice through terrorism.
What role the OIC should play before NATO expansionist policies?
In conclusion: We cannot say that the role of OIC is a total failure in the past. But time changes, in terms of advance technology, in communication [pop-culture diffusion, and human interaction through the media, TV channels and setalites] brings to mind that changing behavior needs changing the traditional authoritarian roles into laws of justice, equality, and libearation of minds to defeat the challenges of modern world technologies. Muslims through the OIC, have to strive to regain their dignity first to claim a powerful identity. And identity cannot be achieved while Muslim nations as subordinates and followers of other powerful nations, by the magical dreams of protection and security. These two dangers exist side by side where the following challenges can be characterized and summerised briefly:
1. The rapid progress of technology and information. 2. The lack of social justice and freedom. 3. The unified world models, regionally or internationally should be tried. 4. The ignorance of world ideologies and developments of social and cultural changes. And finally, 5 The scientific and critical thinking of Muslim nations problems without losing Islam (the heart of Muslim world). 6 The development of civil society associations and organization to secure freedom, justice and equality under rational democratic systems rather than traditional ones.
In many cases, the OIC practices recently show fear, shyness to show Islamic teachings, which is covered by the perceived wave of terrorism in the name of Islam. Research have been done, some decent Muslims tried to explain what was wrong, America was celebrating those who had the prophecy of Huntington and Lewis’s “Clash of civilization”. But the future of Arab and Muslim world cannot be seen now, religion and theology may take part, where social progress and renaissance should take into consideration the political split between faith and state. This split will not take place easily while the Muslim Brothers and political religious parties still around to spoil every secular step toward real democracy, where the constitution and the rule of law may lead the nations rather than dogmatic religious parties.
• The future of the Muslim world
The role of OIC still vital in uniting Muslims, but no serious attempts were made to secure Muslim dignity and identity. Fatawa here and there, depend on poltics and ideologies have nothing to do with Islam. Four important problems or issues remain to be solved: Palestine, Kashmire, Shi’ah-Sunni relations and the future of Muslims in the next fifty years.
In the face of NATO, and the position of Muslim Nations between East (China and Russia) and the West (EU and USA)? And how they should handle their identity, as middle Ummah between two monsters. One wants to dominate land and resources by force and threat, and the other want to be like new woman husband after divorce. What I mean is, if the Muslim world did not initiate the new organization and plan well for the basic three poles maintained through the new Organization: Unity by identity, Respect by High Technology ownership, and power by reasoning, to defend themselves which will be decided by the new organization.
Then the future of the Muslim World will be bright to delve in a new era of prosperity, harmony, and peace with themselves and other nations as well. Otherwise, their limited power and loss of identity and dependence on the outside world, they have no choice other than to follow one of them EAST OR WEST. Unfortunately most of the Muslim world nations are riding the waves of the WEST in recent years.
Reconstruction of Muslim Power is needed. Democracy is not a serious need now the Muslim countries, it will come if the elements of democracy grown first. they have no immediate decision power over national resources, they have the power of consuming arms and technology without ability to maintain its services. The leaders have to look at new and difficult alternatives, to maintain respect and dignity through compromising with their people.
These questions may rise in the process: – How can we ask the Muslim Nations to be powerful, while they are lack self determination over their resources? – Do we need to revise our history in order to redesign our political systems strategies and tactics to be powerful between East and West? – And the most urgent question HOW TO REVIVE a civilization controlled the known world fourteen centuries ago? Under the contemporary circumstances, this might be the most difficult condition to change the future by intellectual professional planners.
Posing these questions need answers: So What we will do?
The matter is not that easy as social scientist might think, unless there was an intention for revival on the long run. An establishment of Committee from Intellectual Arab and Muslim Professional and Technological (IAMPTC) should be assigned or elected to take care of planning the proposed change, carrying the task of regaining dignity and identity for the Muslim World.
The proposed judges comittee will be formed on logical basis away from traditionalism, nepotism, and favoritism, (which is celebrated in any belief) to begin planning changing the future of the Muslim World. It’s like NGOs organization for researching priorities to jump out of the stagnation of Muslim Ummah, socially, culturally, economically and politically. Committee can be formed, to design plans, evaluation solutions, and to select the best and most convenient of these designs to be implemented. I do not suggest that these committees have to be formed from theologian, but from those who have the knowledge other than religious beliefs.
Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, a renowned 12th-century scholar and theologian in Sunni Islam, presented this guidance about the overarching purpose of Shari’ah: “The purpose of the law (shari’ah) for human beings is fivefold: the preservation for them of their religion, soul, intellect, offspring, and property.” Ibn Rushd, known for his reasoning to discuss any religious problems face the jurists In terms of Morality and legality, intellectuals and thinkers have certain questions such as: 1. Does shari’ah as implemented meet the people’s socioeconomic needs? 2. how shari’ah provides a basis for the social, political, and economic life of both Muslims and non-Muslims. 3. how Islamic norms and heritage relate to modern society. 4. How Muslim Thinkers provide to Westerners discussions and lively debates on law and morality within Muslim societies? With the fact that under Islam, all human beings, regardless of nationality and religion, have the right to be critical of practices they deem immoral, inhumane, and degrading to human dignity. 5. How to advice Muslim countries to be both modernized and made compatible with universal human rights, pluralism, and democracy while remaining genuinely Islamic. 6. How can Shari’ah applied fairly to the weak and the poor, on equal basis with the rich and powerful. 7. How to apply modern understanding of globalization to determine the limits within which we will implement shari’ah so that non-Muslims are also accommodated? 8. How can we develop understanding of social change without losing our distinct identity as Muslims? 9. How can we find ways for the compatibility of religion and democracy, along with the recognition that religion in a Muslim countries such as OIC members governments. cannot be eliminated from the public domain. We are not discriminating in this case, because the Ghazalian approach was not effective, and we do not need another 1000 years of failure [I won’t say-sleeping.] The Rushdian Philosophy should lead the Muslim thought for the future. I doubt that the concept where Muslim social scientist played with in the last twenty years or so can help in this matter. Their interest dealing with the problems of Muslims should not be affected by Western or Islamic or Eastern directions. The sole objective should be the Ummah to live out of mental and physical situation.
Strategies cannot be achieved in short time in terms of its goals. But a serious and radical shake-up of Muslim mentality (through institutions and organization help promoting harmony between the governments and the people) is needed in the core values which may perceived as hate or terror toward others inside or outside their countries. Muslims need is to have strong identity in future to be more effective and respected worldwide.
Dependency of arms and technology on the west, do not help the Muslim future, what helps is to look at India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia’s experiences after independence, and may be China later and Russia to help creating the Muslim future. These nations have relatively short independence history, but they achieved progress in almost all secular fields to serve the people.
Do I call for joining SCO, well, this is not a matter of emotions, the old saying in politics: my enemies friend is my enemy. Or vise versa might work, but no respect would be between the cat and the bear. Unless there is harmony between the two. So before thinking of such joint venture, there should be a stage of establishing Identity, finding alternatives to compromise temporarily in the process of the Creation of a NEW Muslim FUTURE.
What distinguishes superpowers may be grouped under three principles: – Unity (such as NATO, EU, SCO, etc. Organizations), – Information technology, and common grounds [Education, politics, culture and wealth). – The Muslim world have marched in the last dimension, unfortunately it still far from initiating UNITY, and Technological Bases of know –how, to make the future of powerful Muslim world.
– The OIC, and similar existed organizations do not work as they should. They are dominated by familial, nepotism, favoritism and despotism representatives. Its construction, finance, and decisions are dominated by those who are happy with Muslim situation today and they do not look for a change, because they put reason and logic aside. – The OIC have lost its credibility these days, as a leader of the Muslim world, Terrorism was a result of reasonable judgment and traditional leadership. Where the new future have to discard old leadership and initiating new breed of generation proud of justice, equality, and integrity of Ummah’s interests. – Now as I see it, more than half of the OIC Planning members are divided between the past and the future, but those who live in the past still dominate the OIC. They are sometimes with EAST, individually, or the WEST totally for protection, a little of OIC reasonable members should lead the new future through their reasonable planning, those unfortunately remain in the MIDDLE course, with no power other than their reason. – Such division, does not help planning a fertile future for the Muslims. Three Models may help in the process for initiating such Unity, sophisticated technology, and wealth, these models include Iran and Pakistan in their nuclear power technology, the second is Indonesia, Singapore in their multinational harmony, and the third is Japan which was defeated after WWII. Three important issues have to be resolved first: Palestinian, Kashmir and Philippine problems. – Some questions may raise here like: Where is Russia, and China? – This good question will be decided when the new Arab & Muslim future take off after initiation, then planning to be neutral or aligned will be decided. But not in these times, may be in few months or years, or decades, to come. Social change have to be seen first in order to change regimes and corrupt political systems.
Thank you all. Wassalamu Alaykum.
NOTE: This paper was presented at Kuala Lampur, Malaysia Conference on NATO expansionist policies in the Arab and Muslim World May 9, 2009. References and Appendixes may be found in the original paper.