By Khalid Pervaiz Raza
Ironically, the Muslim World presents a gloomily retrogressive picture in the current world scenario notwithstanding that they constitute a quarter of the world population. Most of them are in a penury with begging bowls in hands standing at the doors of the US dominated international monetary institutions. Given the fact that the Muslim territories from Southwest Asia to central Asia to Middle East to North Africa abound in natural resources like huge reservoirs of natural gas, petroleum, precious gems and minerals etc., they despicably lack the technical know-how to exploit these resources to their optimum benefit. These resource-rich countries heavily rely on foreign companies for the extraction of crude oil products and also hire the services of foreign engineers for the construction of mega structures obviously due to the reason that they lack the expertise in the relevant field.
Sadly, the Muslims have lost a sense of direction in this era of technological advancement. The Muslim world stands at the crossroad of its history groping in the dark alleys of darkness perpetuated by illiteracy, obscurantism, sectarianism and parochial interests. This is obviously the reason the Muslims are subjected to humiliation and disgrace in Palestine, Burma, Afghanistan and occupied Kashmir by the imperialistic forces without any let or hindrance. The recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US President Donald Trump and the consequent lackluster response from the OIC and Muslim world leadership is an ominous portent of the abject powerlessness of the Muslims across the globe.
The internecine wars within the Muslim states created a space for the foreign powers to meddle with the internal affairs of these countries. These powers take sides with the dissident factions, who are always at logger head with one another, in an attempt to destabilize the political set-up in the Muslim countries in order to achieve their ulterior motives and objectives. Afghanistan is a case in point. This landlocked country has remained a war-game zone for major powers of the world for decades. The country lay ravaged and devastated as a result of internal conflicts and subsequent foreign invasions. Preceding the US invasion this country remained a center-stage of power struggle between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance perpetuating a series of internal warfare that started with the withdrawal of the Red Army and the subsequent disintegration of the USSR in 1991.
In the meantime, The Allied Forces led by the US are stationed in Afghanistan with the covert intent of containing China and of heightening the influence of India putting weight at her back to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan to sabotage the Pak-Chine economic corridor—CPEC. Post 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan on the flimsy reason that the recalcitrant Taliban sheltered the most wanted man to the US, Osama Bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks on WTC and Pentagon. These were the CIA trained warriors in the late 70’s, who had brought down the mighty empire of the USSR with the backing of the US. The Americans deserted them soon after their core objective of the supremacy of power with a unipolar status was achieved.
The irony of fate is that, The Muslim world lack the capacity to oppose the US tooth and nail on the ground that it is a divided and scattered conglomeration of states engaged in sectarian and ethnic rivalries. The Saudi Kingdom seems in no mood to take on board Iran–a predominantly Shiite state in time of exigency. This has resulted into two blocks within the Muslim world—one led by Iran and the other by the Saudi Kingdom rendering the OIC an irrelevant body. Seizing the opportunity, the US has been consistently showing her inclinations towards the Saudi Kingdom to build pressure on Iran tightening the noose around the latter in a bid to checkmate her nuclear ambitions. The Saudi Kingdom readily panders to the US wishes to the detriment of the unity of the Muslim Ummah. At one point the US had also succeeded in persuading the Saudi king to forge diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Muslim Ummah currently faces leadership crisis to the core. The governments across the Muslim world are run by autocratic and oligarchic kings in most cases who never look beyond their petty self-interests. Moreover, these rulers are immersed in luxuries and are more focused on the security of their thrones than the betterment of the Ummah. History bears witness to the fact, that post –twelfth century rulers in the Muslim world reveled in expanding the frontiers of their occupied territories relegating the acquisition of knowledge to the background. Tamerlaine is known to history for erecting minarets of human skulls from the decapitated corpses on the battlefield. The Mughal rulers relished at building monuments at a huge cost of money; whereas in the meantime the West was profoundly immersed in developing educational institutions of the stature of Oxford and Harvard.
In a frenzied power struggle, these autocratic rulers deliberately want to keep their own subjects in the damp dungeon of ignorance employing different methods of suppression to stifle the public voice against the injustices. They consider scientific research, technology and dissemination of knowledge a threat to their power politics. That is why democracy and rule of law is purposely kept at bay in most of the Muslim countries. The imperialistic powers take advantage of this fallacy of the Muslim rulers and make an inroad into our internal affairs to serve their self-interests. The need of the times is that we woke up from our deep slumber and started moving out of the alleys of darkness and ignorance into the illuminating world of knowledge and scientific research to counter the imperialistic designs of foreign powers in an effective manner.