The Muslim world is caught in a whirlwind of political upheaval which has claimed over five million lives since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. The liquidation of the Muslim lands has also resulted in mass displacement of its people. Seventy percent of all refugees…of all displaced people around the globe are Muslim! The carnage in the Muslim world goes on despite our numeric supremacy, geographic vantage and despite the fact that the Muslim world is blessed with abounding reservoirs of natural resources.
Islam has 1.62 billion adherents, making up over 23% of the world population. One in every five is Muslim!
70% of world oil reserves, totaling 550 billion barrels, are in “Muslim countries.” (U.S. Geological Survey & Oil and Gas Journal)
49% of the world’s Natural Gas reserves, totaling 2532 trillion cubic feet, are in Muslim majority countries. (Oil and Gas Journal)
21% of world production of Uranium, totaling 6,421 tons annually, is from “Muslim countries.” (The Journal of the Uranium Institute)
The Muslim world is also located in some of the most strategic locations around the globe. Muslim countries are surrounded by the Red Sea, Black sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Northern Indian Ocean. The Suez Canal is considered to be the shortest link between the east and the west due to its unique geographic location.
The Muslim Ummah is located in both Muslim majority countries as well as non–Muslim majority countries.
More than 300 million Muslims, or one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion. These ‘minority’ Muslim populations are often quite large. India, for example, has the third-largest population of Muslims worldwide. China has more Muslims than Syria, while Russia is home to more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined.
The challenges that Muslim minorities confront are somewhat different from the challenges experienced by Muslim countries. The mass influx of Muslims into Europe has resulted in the stereotyping and negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims due to several reasons. Some of which are:
Parallel Culture: Muslims have integrated into mainstream Europe communities but have not assimilated into them. They have mixed into society but have not given up their values and culture. Muslims eat differently, dress differently, socialize differently and subscribe to different values. European tradition demands uniformity of culture and values. Unlike South Africa that celebrates its diversity; Europeans frown upon ‘the other’ and insist on assimilation. The ban on the niqab and the prohibition of building of minarets are typical examples of how jealously Europe guards what it considers to be its superior culture. The two parallel cultures have contributed to the polarization of communities.
Ideological Onslaught: The growing influence of the Humanist ideology is another contributing factor towards Islam phobia. Humanism threatens religion in general and Islam in particular. Humanists do not believe in eternal truths or Divine revelation as the guiding principles for human conduct. Humanism is a term that describes a worldview based only on critical thinking, human experience, and scientific observation. Religion according to them is acceptable as long as it is confined to the private space. It must not be allowed to impinge on political, social or economic trends and values.
Extremism: The rising specter of extremism feeds on indiscriminate violence. It wraps itself in a religious mantle and advertises itself as the shield against western domination. It is a misguided reaction that thrives on the killing of innocent civilians in the name of religion.
Corruption and social injustice: The real issues facing the Muslim world are corruption, economic and social injustice. Abject poverty in the face of opulence, the continual squeezing of the middle classes, the corruption and abuse of power by the ruling elites, are the real issues at the heart of the Arab Spring.
Economic Enslavement: The Empire of the west in the main is an economic empire and not an ideological empire. The banker in New York, London or Copenhagen could care less how you pray or when you pray as long as you work during the day and spend the evening shopping at the mall using your credit card. Most Muslim countries are caught in the cobweb of interest bearing debt. Interest is the modern day form of enslavement through which the resources of the Muslim world have been pawned to the bankers.
Monopoly of resources: The Muslim world owns resources that are desperately needed by the First world. America for example constitutes five percent of the total world population but consumes thirty five percent of the world’s natural resources. The monopoly of natural resources now shapes the political agenda of the new world order. The Muslim World is caught in a strategic contest between an American Empire which is under stress from economic contraction and a resurgent China, economically strong but still a distant second to America in military might.
Ideological vacuum: The “Arab spring” lost its bounce even before it started. It took place within an ideological vacuum which resulted in the winter of despair. The ideological vacuum resulted in Muslims ironically demonstrating against Islamic law. The agitation against Islamists by people who regard themselves to be Muslims speaks volumes about the intellectual fault lines within the Muslim world.
Christian Zionism: Christian Zionists believe that the Jews are God’s ‘Chosen People’ and that God has given the Jews the absolute right to complete control over not just Palestine but, indeed, a vast stretch of territory, extending from present-day Egypt to Iraq, the so-called ‘Greater Israel’. God, they claim, has selected the Jews above all other people. They believe that they have a Biblical obligation to help Jews reclaim the Promised Land. Christian Zionists wield considerable influence on Capitol Hill claiming a support base in excess of 50 million ‘believers’. This means there are now at least ten times as many Christian Zionists as Jewish Zionists. The destabilization of the Middle East is therefore in the direct interest of the Zionist expansionist programme.
“Our Rabb! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions; establish our feet firmly and help us against the disbelieving folk.”
“Our Rabb! Do not make us a trial for those who disbelieve and forgive us; O our Rabb! Surely You are the Mighty, the Wise.”