Dr. Firoz Mahboob Kamal
Localism: the strategy of the enemy
The US political elites and their allies have two prescriptions for humankind. One for themselves; that is globalism. They have another prescription for the Muslims: localism in various races, regions, clans, sects, and languages. In 2006, Ralph Peters –the US veteran and strategist, argued in his article "Blood Borders," published in the Armed Forces Journal, that the borders of the Muslim countries do not conform with the sectarian, linguistic and ethnic realities on the ground. So he gave a blueprint of dismemberment of the Muslim countries as per various dissimilarities based on race, language and sect. He suggested that the countries like Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Somalia should be divided. He put a map of the new countries in his article. As per his suggestion, Pakistan should be dismembered at least into four, one for each linguistic group. He gives implicit legitimacy to the separatists' war in Baluchistan. He prescribed three states in Iraq: one for the Shia Arabs, one for the Sunni Arabs and the third for the Kurdish people.
But Mr. Peters conveniently ignored that Muslim countries are not the only multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian, and multi-religious countries. Most countries like the USA, the UK, Russia, China, and India have the same type of diversity. The political maps of these non-Muslim countries, too, don't reflect the ground realities of diversity. More than 200 million people in India are Muslim. Kashmir –larger than most of the countries of the world is still in India. Xin Xiang province of China –larger than the largest country of Europe is Muslim populated. A large part of Russian is also Muslim. But Mr. Peters didn't prescribe the same dismemberment formula for the non-Muslim countries. The reason is simple. Since the USA has declared its war on Islam, its strategy must be a strategy to win the war, and it is through weakening the Muslim Ummah. And the disintegration of the Muslim countries is the best way to do that. Now it appears that the USA and its allies are working with the same blueprint.
On the other hand, globalism is gaining huge popularity among non-Muslims. Despite all the ethnic and linguistic differences, the Hindus of India are united. Russia and China are also united despite the divisive diversities. The USA has been working on globalism with its allies since World War I. After World War II, in order to put a strong defence against Soviet Russia, all the western capitalist countries formed a military alliance called NATO. The Europeans formed the EU. Now to resist China, the USA and its allies have made a new alliance called AUKUS; the USA, the UK and Australia are its members.
Globalism is also getting strong advocates among western academics. Andrew Roberts –a conservative historian, recently suggested in the Wall Street Journal in its article "It's Time to Revive the Anglosphere" that all the English-speaking countries like the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand must unite.
The tide of localism in the Muslim World
While the non-Muslims are pursuing the path of globalism, the Muslims are bogged down with localism. In the aftermath of colonialism, the three fathers cum gurus of localism have harmed the Muslim Ummah catastrophically. They are Mr. Kamal Pasha –the father of Turkish nationalism, Mr. Sharif Hussain –the father of Arab nationalism, and Mr. Shaikh Mujibur Rahman –the father of Bengali nationalism. With his radical secularism and Turkish nationalism, Kamal Pasha has successfully dismantled the Osmania caliphate and took the Turkish people away from Islam. He could heavily appease the western ruling elites by fulfilling their anti-Caliphate agenda. As a token of their satisfaction, Turkey was taken as a trusted member of the western military alliance of NATO. The betrayal of Islam and the Muslim cause turned so toxic in the Turkish psyche that Turkey became the first country to recognize the illegitimate state of Israel in the Muslim heartland. Such Turkish localism precipitated the collapse of the Caliphate. It worked in tandem with Arab localism to damage the unity and honour of Muslim Ummah. Because of hatred against Islam and Arabs, the Arabic script and calling azan (call for prayers) in Arabic were banned in republican Turkey. They showed their love for western culture, western dress, western laws and even western script. Distancing from Islam and the Muslim Arabs and celebrating the Turkish ethnic glory became the state policy.
Sharif Hussain –a former Osmania governor of Hejaz, promoted Arab localism in the Arab World. He allied with the English and the French colonialists to dismember the Caliphate and raise an Arab Empire. He failed to establish an Arab Empire but succeeded in dismantling the Caliphate. The disintegration of the Arab world into 22 states, ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the creation of the west's watchdog Israeli state owes not only to the victory of the new European crusaders but also to the crimes of the people of Arab localism.
Shaikh Mujibur Rahman of Bengali localism aligned with the Hindutva forces of India to promote his power-grabbing personal agenda. For that, he dismembered Pakistan –the largest Muslim country of the contemporary world. As a result, Bangladesh now stands as a vassal state of India. The Indian goods enjoy free access to its markets. Bangladesh is the largest market for Indian products. The Indian transport vehicle gets access to its seaports. India's civil and military logistics to the war-prone seven Indian eastern provinces get a safe corridor through Bangladesh. Moreover, India can engineer any political coup in Bangladesh through its embedded civil and military agents. So Bangladesh pays its heavy price for localism.
Globalism and localism: the Islamic perspectives
All humans –like all the living and non-living beings of the universe are the creations of Allah Sub'hana wa Ta'la. The All-Merciful Almighty has an intense love for every human. For the peace and success of humanity, He prescribed Islam. It is the only roadmap of ultimate success both here and in the hereafter. It is indeed the greatest gift of the Almighty. For success, unity is indispensable. And the disunity makes it impossible. Hence, Islam makes unity a religious obligation. But Satan wants chaos, calamities and failure; thus wants division and wars. Therefore promoting localism is a satanic agenda. It is made haram in Islam.
As per the Holy Qur'an, killing an innocent man is a crime equivalent to killing all humans. Hence a full guarantee of equal security and welfare for every human being and the people of every locality is the crucial matter in Islam. So, ensuring such safety for everyone –rich or poor is ibadah –the servitude unto Allah Sub'hana wa Ta'la. Islam encourages people to fight for justice for everyone and prohibits politics on localism. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, skin colour and faith is haram (forbidden). It is a punishable crime to spread hatred and make war based on ethnic, linguistic, and skin-based dissimilarities. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) never tolerated such divisive politics. It was treated as a punishable offence. Islam promotes globalism–called pan-Islamism. Under the Prophet's (peace be upon him) rule, the Arabs, the Iranians, the Ethiopians and the Romanians worked as fellow brothers, there was no divisive border.
The politics of localism is not a modern invention. It is the old practice of ancient ignorance -jaheliyah. Before Islam, the Arabs didn't have any state nor any civilisation. They were known by their own localities. They were divided into tribes and used to fight tribal wars for years after years. They didn't have any global outlook. Islam gave the Arabs a new vision, a new mission and a new insights to look at people around them. It was a trans-tribal, trans-language and trans-locality paradigm. Such globalism could dismantle the divisive walls that survived among them for centuries. Localism promotes weakness and wars. And globalism generates unity, gives strengths and promotes peace. Islam proved that in its golden days. As a result, the Arab Muslims could form a state, could stand a World Power and could raise the finest civilisation in human history.
The calamity of localism
The calamity of localism is catastrophic. Most horrendous crimes in the modern Muslim history are committed by the promoters of localism. The Arab nationalists killed thousands of non-Arabs –especially the Turks in 1917-18 and the Bengali nationalist killed tens of thousands of non-Bengalis in 1971. Hundreds of the Muslim women have been raped and their houses and businesses are gutted by the so-called Muslims for dissimilar race and language.
The decadence of the Muslims indeed started when they left the path of globalism and followed localism. About 200 million Bengali Muslims (of both Bangladesh and West Bengal) now suffer from Hindutva Hindus' hegemony. The 400 million Arabs –despite the huge resources - stand as the weakest and defenceless people on the planet. They can't even stand against 6 million Israeli Jews. Their localism has devastated their power. As a result, the Arab people of Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Lebanon still face the worst miseries. On the Day of Judgment, the people will be judged only on the parameter whether adherent to the Divine Truth or adherent to the satanic wrongs. The Divine Truth is global; hence those who adhere to the Truth also get global.
On the other hand, falsehood has different brands based on the place of origin, the source of origin, and the ingredients of origin. Hence localism is embedded in the non-Islamic faith. In paradise, there will be no division, no racial, religious, ethnic or linguistic identities. There will be only one identity; that is global Islamic identity. Hence those who aspire to enter paradise must attain the attribute of heavenly globalism.
The old days of jahiliya of localism have returned back to the Muslim World. The Arabs are its worst victims. They celebrate localism. Even a tiny piece of land with a few oil fields claims statehood and celebrates localism. Therefore disunity, defeat and humiliation have become integral parts of Arab life. Their decadence has gone so low that the Arabs are not even Arab nationalists. They now represent sub-nationalism, tribalism, and other worst forms of localism. This is indeed the worst calamity of localism in the Muslim World. This has proved enough to invite the Divine punishment.