Conflicts in the Muslim world – II
Hasan A. Yahya, Professor of Sociology
President of Ihyaa al Turath al Arabi fil Mahjar
and the Arab American Encyclopedia– USA
Part Two of Four
This is part two to answer the question: Why local or regional conflicts cover mostly the Muslim World?
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.
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 southernmost provinces of Thailand, with violence increasingly spilling over into other provinces.
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 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.
In conclusion, In order to solve these conflicts, in terms of minority or ethnic groups, principles initiated by organizations to deal with national, regional, or global conflicts should take into consideration, equality, justice and unity goals in national, regional, or global disputes, depending on understanding these groups grievances and rights, appreciation of their demands, and compromising for the public national welfare, through non-violence approach dealing with conflicts.
Religion among minority and various ethnic groups in this case will not be a factor to initiate conflicts, but factors to bring people together to survive in any national or regional borders. If these measures were not applied, religious and ethnic conflicts will take violence into their hands to keep their dignity and human rights. (729 words) www.hasanyahya.com
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عرب يارسول الله ….. عرب !
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