Skip to main content

Dark Age of Muslim World

Image result for dark ages


The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization traditionally referring to the Middle Ages. It emphasizes the demographic, cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire, and the relative scarcity of written records from the period.

IN the 14th and 15th centuries, Christian Europe was divided by the rivalries of the kingdoms of Spain, France and England, the Holy Roman Empire and the squabbling papal and city states of Italy. They were unable to unite in halting the advance of the ascendant Ottomans who reached the gates of Vienna and were stopped there more by Sultan Suleiman’s demise rather than credible Christian resistance.

Today, the roles are reversed. It is the Muslim world which is unable to unite to fend off the domination of the West. The crisis between Qatar and its GCC partners is reminiscent of the rivalries of Italy’s papal states and role of external powers in determining the destiny of its weak rulers.
Image result for dark ages
The Islamic world, wracked by multiple conflicts and crises, is traversing a period akin to Europe’s Dark Ages.

Today’s vulnerable Muslim world is wide open to the influence and domination of external powers.

First, in many Muslim countries, there is crisis of political legitimacy. Governance structures, mostly bequeathed by departing Western colonists, have corroded. The authoritarian regimes in the GCC and Iran were untouched by the Arab Spring; but most are vulnerable domestically to both democratic and ideological challenge.

Egypt has reverted to military rule. Turkey’s populist leader battles internal and external opposition. External intervention in Libya has yielded a civil war and the emergence of the militant Islamic State group and other terrorist groups. Similarly, Syria has been destroyed by external intervention and a brutal sectarian and ethnic civil war. The fiction of Iraq’s unity is preserved by the presence of Iranian militias, US military support and the war against IS. The US-installed Afghan regime is weak, corrupt, divided, and militarily beleaguered. Ironically, among OIC members, Pakistan is one of the few which, despite corruption scandals, retains a modicum of democratic legitimacy.

Second, violence is spreading across the Muslim world. Global terrorist groups — IS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, etc — are now active participants in civil and cross-border conflicts and pose a threat to global stability.

Muslim nations are not the main sponsors of global terrorism; they are its principal victims. Some major powers have fought terrorists selectively and at times used them for partisan purposes. No effort has been made to stop state terrorism or to differentiate between terrorists and insurgencies which, like the Afghan Taliban, have local, negotiable goals. Most important, no concerted effort has been made to address terrorism’s ‘root causes’: persistent injustices against Muslim peoples eg in Palestine and Kashmir, or poverty, ignorance and social alienation which create recruits for terrorism, including over the internet.

Third, the crises within the Islamic world have been exacerbated by ideological and doctrinal differences. The most vital schism is between Sunni and Shia power. This schism was dormant until Iran’s 1979 ‘Islamic Revolution’. It rose to the fore in the Iraq-Iran war. It was manifest in the Afghan civil war between the Afghan Taliban and the Northern Alliance. It was, however, the US invasion of Iraq, its dismantling of the Sunni-dominated Baath party and army and the organisation of one-man one-vote elections that enabled the Iran-sponsored Shia parties to gain central power in Iraq and extend Iranian influence across the Levant and beyond.

Iran’s rise is anathema to its Sunni rivals: Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Egypt. Turkey has also been uncomfortable; although it has been obliged recently to moderate its rivalry and secure Tehran’s cooperation to forestall Kurdish separatism. Pakistan’s once close ties with Iran also deteriorated over time due to multiple reasons: Islamabad’s termination of peaceful nuclear cooperation, competition for influence in post-Soviet Afghanistan, Iranian ‘interference’ with Pakistan’s Shia community, cross-border events in Iranian and Pakistani Balochistan and Iran’s sudden reversal of support on Kashmir in response to Indian ‘incentives’.

But the sectarian divide is not the sole ideological rift within the Muslim world today. The Muslim Brotherhood and its populist ideology have become abhorrent to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. Hamas, the Palestinian affiliate of the Brotherhood, has suffered collateral damage. On the other hand, Qatar and Turkey have espoused the Brotherhood and Hamas, offered refuge to their adherents and support to them in the Libyan civil war. Such Qatari divergence was evidently the main reason for the Saudi-UAE break with Doha.

Last, but not least, today’s weak, vulnerable Islamic world is wide open to the influence and domination of major external powers. The recent Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh was, more than anything, an illustration of the susceptibility of most of the assembled Muslim nations to US domination. Russia also enjoys critical influence with several Muslim countries, including Iran and Turkey, due to its military power and growing role in Syria and the region. So far, China has remained aloof from inter-Islamic differences. Its desire seems to be to use its economic and financial power as a force for greater cohesion with Muslim countries.

What seems most dangerous for the immediate future is the hard-line positions being adopted by the Trump administration on most international disputes and crises, including North Korea, South China Sea, Syria and Iran. If implemented, these positions, particularly the formation of an alliance against Iran, are likely to lead to the intensification of the conflicts affecting the Muslim world.

Pakistan’s main preoccupations are: TTP and IS terrorism, Afghanistan and India. It appears that Pakistan will face challenges in addressing these issues. President Ghani’s recent atrocious accusations against Pakistan obviously had clearance from his US patrons. Trump’s refusal to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Riyadh was no accident. The Pentagon’s pre-emptive identification last week of Pakistan as host of a Chinese military base is another negative signal.

While addressing its own priorities, Pakistan cannot ‘play possum’ on issues involving the Islamic world. Such abstention does not behove the Muslim world’s second largest nation, its largest military power and its only nuclear weapon state. Pakistan has consistently concluded that its national and security interests can be best advanced by promoting unity and cooperation among Muslim countries. Today, more than ever, Pakistan is obliged to play an active role to develop viable avenues for conflict resolution and cooperation among the Islamic nations and, hopefully, lead the way to a new age of enlightenment in the Muslim world.

Munir Akram : The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.


https://www.dawn.com/news/1338770/a-dark-age
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_(historiography)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~  ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~  ~
Humanity, Knowledge, Religion, Culture, Tolerance, Peace
انسانیت ، علم ، اسلام ،معاشرہ ، برداشت ، سلامتی 
Books, Articles, Blogs, Magazines,  Videos, Social Media
بلاگز، ویب سائٹس،سوشل میڈیا، میگزین، ویڈیوز,کتب
سلام فورم نیٹ ورک  Peace Forum Network 
Join Millions of visitors: لاکھوں وزٹرز میں شامل ہوں 
Salaamforum.blogspot.com 
سوشل میڈیا پر جوائین کریں یا اپنا نام ، موبائل نمر923004443470+ پر"وہٹس اپپ"یا SMS کریں   
Join 'Peace-Forum' at Social Media, WhatsApp/SMS Name,Cell#at +923004443470
     
  
Facebook: fb.me/AftabKhan.page

Popular posts from this blog

A historic moment in the Arab world

لحظة تاريخية في العالم العربي
As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond. In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change. "كما ثورة ديمقراطية بقيادة الشباب التكنولوجيا ذات صلاحيات تجتاح العالم العربي ، وضاح خنفر ، الجزيرة المدير العام والأسهم وجهة نظر متفائلة بشكل كبير ما يحدث في مصر وتونس وليبيا وخارجها. وفي اول حديث له نشر على الانترنت من مؤتمر تيد 2011 في ولاية كاليفورنيا ، خنفر يصف لحظة قوية عند الناس أدركت أنها لا يمكن الخروج من منازلهم ونطلب من أجل التغيير."
http://www.ted.com/talks/wadah_khanfar_a_historic_moment_in_the_arab_world.html This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and Mar…

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.  Keep reading  >>>>


India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last t…

Kashmir Jihad - Analysis & Options

PDF: http://bit.ly/2k0Vqpm

Kashmir is an incomplete agenda of partition of India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars on this issue. According to UN resolutions, Kashmiris have to decide their accession to Pakistan or India through impartial plebiscite, which could not take place due to Indian reluctance. Recently, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Kashmir, it was done to unilaterally integrate occupied Kashmir. This is a violation of the UN resolutions and the Simla bilateral agreement, which demands to maintain status quo until the final settlement. The US and world powers are emphasizing that Kashmir should be resolved bilaterally, though India has refused to hold talks with Pakistan. In the present scenario, while India has turned Kashmir into the largest prison of 9 million people, denying basic human rights and oppressing the Kashmiris' who want freedom from India, Pakistan cannot watch as a silent spec…