Carnage amongst brothers and the
vain nirvana of global Caliphate…
Radicals are the greatest proponents
of Islamic unity and caliphate. The unique method to reach this unison is
mesmerising. The formula is simple: first, eliminate any opposing thought and
then impose spiritual unity from top down. Definitely unity can only be
achieved by force. The last time a universal Islamic Ottoman Caliphate existed
under Selim the grim, Mamluks and Saffvids lost their dynasties. Might and
conquest was an integral part of previous ideological unity. In an environment
where state craft has become part and parcel of the new world, the radicals are
selling a dream of nirvana where 'great Islamic unity' will under a caliph
achieve the dominance that Islam is missing today. To achieve that, elimination
of dissent is the primary object; nothing can be resolved peacefully hence
bloodshed is a convenient tool of statecraft.
A quick expanse of the hotspots in the
Islamic world reveals a very repulsive and distressful drama unfolding very
silently and unnoticeably.
Sectarian and political divisions are leading to mass inter-communal terror:
the way Hamas and Al-Fatah are ready for a civil war; the manner in which
Hezbollah is readying for the new civil war in Lebanon;
the approach taken by Gulbadeen Hikmatyar to eliminate the government of
brother Pakhtoon Karzai with the aid of his ex-enemy Mullah Omar. In the latter
case, Karzai is a Sunni so are the other enemies of Karzai i.e. Taliban. Of
course they consider Karzai to be a puppet of the Northern Alliance.
Nearly all of these varied groups,
whilst colouring their hands by the blood of their own brethren, talk about the
ultimate Caliphate where they all can live peacefully under the tabernacle of
the God-entrusted Caliph. Mullah Omar likes the title of Ameer-ul-Momeneen;
Hezbollah awaits an even bigger appearance that of 'Imam Ghaib.' Osama would
like to be the first rejuvenated Caliph of Islam after the end of the Ottomans
Empire, which his forefathers under the guise of 'Arab National Army' and
leadership of Lawrence of Arabia, fought to destroy and obliterate.
In 1517, the Ottoman Sultan Selim I
defeated the Mamluk Sultanate and made Egypt
part of the Ottoman Empire. Al Mutawakkil was captured
and transported to Constantinople, where he agreed to
formally surrendered the title of Caliph as soon as he dies, as well as its
outward emblems, the sword and the mantle of Muhammed (PBUH), to the Ottoman
The creation of an Islamic caliphate,
or empire, has long formed part of Al-Qaeda's worldview, and it is a vision
that seems to have unsettled many in the west. But it will remain just a militants'
dream. It is these very people who had torn Caliphate apart when it existed.
Before he went into hiding in 2001, Osama bin Laden often talked of deposing
Muslim rulers, seen as indebted to Western powers, and abolishing modern state
borders to unite all Muslims under a caliphate - an Islamic state where God's
word was law ruled over by a caliph, or "successor" to Prophet
What grudge possibly can Arab Osama
bin Laden have with the westerners; it was not until 400 years after the Mamluks
at the hands of Selim I that under Lawrence of Arabia as the head of the Arab
armies they captured Damascus and
installed an interim Arab administration, deputizing for King Feisal. So after
400 years of Turkish rule, the Arabs were once again a power to be reckoned
with in the contemporary world, though very much below the authority and
strength which Lawrence had
intended for them. As Lawrence himself put it, the opponents of Arab
nationalism had bigger guns, that were all. Is Osama going to re-install
Caliphate that his forefathers in the name of 'Arab revolt and nationalism'
Now Al-Qaeda militants are talking
about setting up a caliphate in west Iraq,
and militants calling themselves Al-Qaeda in Yemen
also said recently a caliphate is their goal. Very noble goals indeed but the
way they are handling communal differences between various strains of Islam is
absolutely murderous. A Caliphate being conceived on orgies of blood!! It
absolutely took two wars with Mamluk and Safavid armies to unite the Caliphate
the last time. No universal Caliphate is possible, going by what happened to
the 'Ottoman Caliphate' under the name of Arab revolt. The Ottoman family, the
House of Osman of Turkish origin, and was not a member of the Prophet's family.
They were always considered as a usurper by the Arabs. According to the Islamic
tradition, a caliph had to trace his lineage to Prophet Mohammed (Umayyads and
Abbasids are examples of this). Blood is thicker than ties of Islam, 1400 years
of history is living prove.
The treacherous battle of Shiite and
Sunni Islam in the heartland of Iraq
is another unique example of this hysterical exposition of internecine
abhorrence. Zarqawi's detestation of Shiites in Iraq
and his war of freedom for Iraq
by mass elimination of Shiites resulted in emergence of the equally ruthless
Sadr; the two are fighting for freedom of Iraq
and freeing Iraq of Iraqis at Godspeed. People of peace and advocates of
inter-sectarian unity have been totally sidelined. The mass frenzy of carnage
has overtaken the hotspots of the Islamic world, and no one seems to notice
that this is actually the consequence of continuous chastisement of 'hatred
against mankind' that is now revealing its full impact on fledgling societies.
The so-called blood infested freedom struggles have come to a full circle and
are now consuming the children of Jihad; the first victim of misplaced
revolutions, rather, all revolutions, has been its own children.
Such naked and barefaced vengeance has
seen very few parallels in modern history. Medieval world had seen Protestants
and Catholics war on the lines of Shiite and Sunni war between Iraq
and Iran. But
within the Middle East, where these communities are so
intermingled in modern day and age, the spectre of inter-sectarian violence at
this height is a new threat to regional balance and economic stability of the
world as far as energy goes.
For the consumption of these
bloodthirsty tyrants who want to claim universal 'Caliphate' by waging a war
against their own brethren, let us take a whirlwind tour of history; let us se
e how bloody and forceful it was the last time when Selim I united the
Caliphate of Islam. The Ottomans under Selim at the Battles of Marj Dabiq and
the Mamluk Sultanate, which led to the annexation of Syria,
Palestine and Egypt.
It was he who extended Ottoman power to the holy cities of Mecca
and Medina. The holiest sites of
the Islamic world - the Great Mosque in Mecca
and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina
- fell under his dominion when the Turks took Egypt
and her Arabian provinces from the Mamluks. The title which 'King Fahd' took in
the 80's, that of Khadim ul Haremeyn, or The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines,
was originally instituted by Selim I. Instead of styling 'Hakim ul Haremeyn,'
or The Ruler of The Two Holy Shrines, he accepted the more pious title Khadim
ul Haremeyn, or The Servant of The Two Holy Shrines.
It was after the conquest of Egypt
and the Holy Cities, Al-Mutawakkil III (1509–17), the last Abbasid Caliph in Cairo,
formally surrendered the title of Caliph and its emblems, the sword and the
mantle of Muhammad to Selim. Once cementing his claim to the position of the
"Guardian of the Faithful", Selim waged a war against Persia,
whose ruler Shah Ismail I claimed to be Caliph as well. The triumphant crusade
which followed was a victory for Selim, whose determination and bravery
overcame the insubordination of the Janissaries, the household troops of the
After assuming the Caliphate, Selim
assumed the title Malik ul-Barayn, wa KhaKhan ul-Bahrayn, was Kasir
ul-Jayshayn, wa Khadim ul-Haramayn - that is, King of the Two Deserts, KhaKhan
of the Two Seas,
Conqueror of the Two Armies, and Servant of the Two Holy Shrines. This
designation alludes to his dominions in Africa and Asia
Anatolia , and much of the Fertile Crescent),
his rule over the Mediterranean and Black seas, his
conquest over the Mamluk and Safavid armies, and his guardianship of the
shrines of Mecca and Medina.
It was Selim who expanded the 2,500,000 km² of Ottoman land to 6,500,000 km².
After completely filling the royal treasury, he reportedly locked it with his
own seal and decreed that "he who will fill the treasury more than this,
may use his seal to lock it." The treasury remained locked with Selim's
seal until the collapse of the Empire 400 years later.
One problem that is faced by the
Islamic world is the distrust and infighting between them; the violence within
communities is extensive. In the face of huge diversity of religious and
political systems in the Middle East today, no such
'messianic' figures are on the scene. Selim-kind of power and figures do not
exist anymore; it is decentralising of authority where every state within the
Arab world wants respect and authority. The massive schism between Sunni and
Shiite Muslims who argue bitterly over the first four caliphs (632-661 AD) to
succeed the Prophet (PBUH) makes this dream of a universal caliphate even more
part of a fairy tale.
Shiite Iran has its own form of
Islamic government where supreme authority lies with an Islamic jurist chosen
by a body of senior clerics to rule in the place of a disappeared line of
descendents of the Prophet (PBUH). In Saudi
Arabia, the adherents of an austere school
of Sunni Islam , known as
Wahhabism, give their allegiance to the Saudi family to rule as kings in return
for wide latitude to enforce their version of sharia, or Islamic law. "I
can see the whole Arab world falling into sectarian violence, so I can't see
this caliphate happening," said London-based anthropologist Madawi
Al-Rasheed, referring to Sunni-Shiite tensions in Iraq
"This is just part of (Al-Qaeda's) war of slogans."
These brewing struggles are suggestive
of a roadmap of insecurity, all through the crescent of volatility from Morocco
The internecine wars have to be stopped. Continuous fanning of the message of
'Jihad' against the infidels have to be revisited and abolished once for all;
sowing hatred breeds hatred, sowing bullets leads to a harvest of bullets.
Eventually the Muslim world should wake up to realize that this 'Jihad' is
being fed by the blood of its own children. Guns, dynamite, venom and poison
have no boundaries. They flourish on the easiest of preys, and when these guns
fail to find the 'infidels,' they can easily find unarmed civilians in their
own neighbourhood with whom they don't agree ideologically and they become the
new target. Hamas and Hezbollah and Alqaeda deliver messages of poison that
need continuous feeding of blood to sustain their efforts. The best antidote is
'peace.' That means death to them; if they are contained they start gulping
their own children with equal ferocity. It is their brand of ideology that
matters and in absence of their brand being accepted every other shade of human
thinking is discarded.
That is what is exactly happening.
Unable to launch their global campaigns of terror, the fangs of terrors are now
demanding new blood to sustain its tentacles. In Gaza,
the Palestinians are now victims of the Hamas or the Palestinian security
forces, political expression bastardised to the highest level of corruption.
When politics are at the back stage and guns in front, naturally every dispute
is handled by guns, even a shoddy attempt of formation of a bipartisan
government. Last week they were talking of a coalition government; yesterday
they were killing each other like nobody's business. The problem is that when a
'gun' is relied on for so much, even a family feud, then it becomes a gun-based
feud. The family of Islam is tearing each other apart; the message of tolerance
and communal coexistence has been lost. It is important it searches from the
moments of history where tolerance led to peaceful eras.
Hezbollah should avoid making attempts
to plunge Lebanon
into the ignominies of bloodstained days. Al Fatah and Hamas, ready to get on
to each other's throats to bury the façade of brotherhood and unity once and
for all, should avoid the dance of death amidst them. Mature societies respect
life and respect law. These signs of medieval immaturity need to be buried; the
Middle Eastern media should join hand s to denounce this vain violence all
around us. It is not the enemies who are killing Muslims, once again, it is the
Muslims killing each other and if unchecked it will be the biggest unfolding
tragedy. There are hundreds of regions where fragile balance between
communities can dribble over to bloodshed.
It was not an Arab freedom fighter
like Arafat or Osama bin Laden, but Lawrence who as a great military leader and
strategist got them freed from the 'yoke of Caliphate..' Today's demands of
Caliphate are expedient tool to find the cannon fodder of the Islamic Jihad,
find new suicide bombers in hope of a vast Caliphate land. Islamic global unity
brings out a lot of emotion and lot of anger. Lawrence of Arabia organized the
national rebellion of the Arab peoples and gave them the first opening in 400
years to become a significant Middle Eastern power. It was overthrown by the
French with considerable bloodshed. Feisal, having been robbed and deposed of
his kingdom in Syria
was awarded with Iraq.
On his death Sheikh Hamoudi of Aleppo
exclaimed in his grief: "It is as if I had lost a son. Tell them in England
what I say. Of manhood, the man; in freedom free; a mind without equal; I can
see no flaw in him."
A lesson from history where
coexistence, even in wars, was most important has to be revisited;
sensibilities and rejection of hatred should take the front seat. The best caliphate
would be respect of the territorial integrity of bigger and smaller states and
respect of life and property with the tolerance of opposing strains of ideas
that is a possible goal. Radicals who are destroying peace and security and
demanding the promotion of universal Islamic unity amidst this carnage of
bloodletting under the name of 'caliphate' is nothing but a visa for
elimination and cleansing the minority thought. A Caliphate should be about
inclusion not exclusion. The atrocities in the hotspots within the fringes of
the Islamic world demand removal of this toxic thinking of self-righteousness
associated with eliminations. The world today needs no global wars and no mass
conversions. Let the hundred flowers bloom.