the Middle East has been rocked by constant violence, wars, occupations and clashes over the past 150 years, even though it enjoyed centuries of peace under the rule of the Ottomans before that. Yet, right now, whole cities are being burned down, and innocent people are being slaughtered with barrel bombs. Tens of millions of people have become refugees, prisoners of war, and victims in their own lands.
Only in Gaza, there are 1.7 million people trying to hang on to life despite the most difficult conditions. The Middle East observers of the United Nations have been presenting report after report portraying the unfavorable conditions there, which were entirely ignored. According to the November 2013 report of James Rowley, Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs with the United Nations, there is a very serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza which makes it imperative that the blockade is lifted immediately. He also said that closure of Rafah border was putting a huge strain on Gaza. 1The UN says that nine million people are facing death unless they get help very soon. People have been battling with hunger for months now in refugee camps like Yarmouk in Damascus. The unrest in Egypt grows everyday, and the neighboring countries are surely being negatively affected by the situation.
We can extend the above list with Myanmar, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, East Turkestan, Pakistan and several African countries. The whole Islamic world is suffering from a vicious cycle of violence and the Western world is nowhere near a political approach that could put an end to this: Indeed, from time to time, Western countries opt for an approach that encourages more conflicts, unrest and clashes in the region. Muslims, who are supposed to live in peace and brotherhood together, are now weakened and worn out because of their divided state.
Yet, it is possible to solve all these problems if only Muslims come together to overcome the problems and contribute to the solution as much as they can.
There is also the fact that the divided state of Muslims is drawing the attention of some dark groups that are eyeing the riches of the Middle East with hungry eyes.
The situation brings up some questions that are begging for answers:
To what extent do the organizations such as the Arab Union or the OIC, organizations that were founded to build peace in the Islamic world, actually achieve any success? What can bring an end to the policies of hatred, resulting from sectarian differences and a desire for vengeance?
It is clear to everyone that organizations such as the OIC, albeit representing 57 Islamic countries, have a very passive and bureaucratic structure that is held back by an excessive amount of red tape; one would expect such organizations to have more effect, as they are representing 1.6 billion Muslims, and have access to immense amount of resources. Yet they are very far from presenting any solutions to the problems at hand.
The Islamic world urgently needs saving, and its saviors. The solution will begin when everyone in the Middle East wishes for and urges Islamic Union. In addition, policies of love and acceptance should be adopted with urgency, especially for Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. These policies will create a worldwide effect and prompt influential actors in the Middle East to abandon policies of violence in favor of more moderate ones.
The obvious solution is Islamic countries coming together and building a European Union style confederation. Muslims need to have a civilization supported by highest levels of justice, art and rich culture. Furthermore, the Middle East needs to achieve a social democracy that is at least on par with the legal system recognized by Europe and universal human rights.
It should be well known that our holy book the Qur’an is the source of all these beauties and richness. Harvard University, which is considered one of the top universities of the world, has the 135th verse of Surat an-Nisa of the Holy Quran, engraved on the wall of the library of the Harvard Law Department. The faculty stated that the verse was ‘…one of the greatest definitions of justice in history’.2 Therefore, the need for Muslims to embrace their faith, and return to their essence is greater than ever.
Such a union will be accepted and welcomed by everyone, as it will cater to the desires and expectations of not only the East but also the West, and the acceptance of this union will ensure that all the problems can be easily and rapidly solved.
Turkey is one of those countries that could serve as a great example to Islamic countries. The Turkish democracy has managed to act as a bridge between the East and West, with its ability to use its culture as a unifying force, and also with its stable economy and sensible approach to problems. It has strengthened its relations with the EU and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization members, while continuing to protect and safeguard the interests of all Islamic countries. Shia Iran is our ‘second home’, in the words of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; in the same way, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia is our sister country as well. Sunni countries are also our sisters and allies. No matter what faith they have, Turkey is determined to ally with all Islamic countries on the basis of what we have in common. This spirit comes from the Qur’an and will lead to way to an Islamic Unity.
By the grace of God, this spirit will find its way into everyone’s heart. By the will of God, very soon, this geography that is the Islamic world will embrace its golden age with Islamic Union.