By Ramin Mazaheri
(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief Paris correspondent for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a journalist for a daily in the United States and has reported in Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of “Socialism’s Ignored Success: Persian Islamic Socialism” as well as “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China”, which is also available in Simplified and Traditional Chinese.)
As a numerical minority, the Shiites are of course the Muslim group most interested in Muslim unity: it means survival. This has meant that since the very death of Prophet Mohammad, and âMuslim unityâ and âthe survival of Shiismâ have been inseparable ever since.
The logic of this concept – that “Muslim unity” is the best protector of the largest minority in the Muslim world – should go without saying. Minorities need peace to thrive – they are outnumbered in conflict / voting.
It is only the imperialists who divide, and their puppets in some Muslim countries, who reject this logical idea and propagate the opposite – that instead, the Shiites are trying to divide the Muslim community; that the Shiite minority is determined to wage war on the Sunnis. Of course, this is a war that is already forbidden by Islam – faith can never be imposed on someone – so such people (and I am referring to isolated extremists who hold no democratic political power in the Muslim world) are still rejected as not -Muslim.
No thoughtful Muslim needs a conference to reaffirm this millennial conversation and this established law. The annual International Conference of Islamic Unity in Iran, which has just concluded its 35th meeting, is light years away from these false non-problems.
What the conference does is provide a forum to create an Islamic geopolitical pathway to resolve insecurity in the Muslim world. Such insecurity is allowed to occur, in our modern zone of imperialism, because there is disunity on fundamental topics of political modernity among Muslims.
Islamic Unity Week was launched in 1987 and takes place on the week of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. The conference is not organized to proselytize in favor of Shiism (again, proselytism in Islam is prohibited, which is why there are no Muslim missionaries) but to strengthen unity among Muslims in a practical sense.
Yes, the event is organized under the auspices of the Global Forum for Proximity to Islamic Schools of Thought, which paves the way for Islamic scholars to get to know and understand each other. The creation of theological empathy and respectful intellectual understanding among the many sects of Islam is indeed an integral part of the conference. But the presence of the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the heads of the Iranian foreign minister and the minister of culture, the main Iranian political leaders, political scientists, communication specialists and others testify to the very practical and very concrete results which the conference is expected to produce.
A fundamental principle of the conference is that Muslims cannot be united as long as foreign powers take away the sovereignty of Muslims in their own countries. Thus, the practical basis of the conference is anti-imperialism, a struggle so bloody and necessary that correct unity of any kind must be used.
We must always remember that unity among all the broad masses has always been called “divisional” by the powers of imperialism – whether these powers are feudal kings who reject even meager parliaments, or the shareholders of the East. India Tea Company, or the â200 familiesâ of France with whom Leon Blum had to negotiate in 1936 for an 8 hour day because âWho else was there for me to negotiate? the masses against the elite will effect a modern revolution in any society.
Political unity should be easier than religious unity, but the Muslim world has more of the latter than the old one.
When there is Muslim unity at a purely national level, the result takes the form of an “Islamic republic”. It must be a republic because monarchy – the preservation of privileges based on blood, elitism and favoritism, and therefore the necessary rejection of economic and political fairness – is always a cruel and unusual punishment of the masses of the world. nation and their resources.
This idea did not appear in the history of the Eastern Hemisphere until the advent of the 19th century, and places like Europe fought the Napoleonic wars, stifled the democratic wave of 1848, spread the false glory of their monarchs around the world in violence and arrogant colonialism and embarked on the horror known as World War I simply because the monarchs (in alliance with their aristocracy, old and new rich) wanted to preserve their privileges. It really is that simple, and to say otherwise is a lie.
Monarchy – that is, autocracy, authoritarianism, inequality before the law, undeserved privilege, and arrogance – still has enormous backing and backing in most Western European countries. , and these countries supported their royal brothers in the Muslim world.
It is incorrect to expect world unity on a religious level, but do we still have to wait for unity regarding the truly horrific demands of kings and queens?
“Republican imperialism” – of which France and the United States are shining examples – is not a true republic, but a republic which is content to pronounce words of equality before the law, but whose policies preserve the nouveau riche and firmly hold imperialism in place. In such places, patriotism is the most exalted virtue, and because it places the nation higher than God Himself, it degrades positive patriotism into fanatic chauvinism.
After World War I, the idea that a nation of people had superior characteristics, deserved special privileges, and was destined to rule over others was later transformed into âfascismâ. The differences between the monarchy and fascism are minimal as there has been no fundamental upheaval in property relations as in, for example, the Iranian Islamic revolution – the banking system, medium and heavy industry and foreign trade remained in the hands of a small cabal instead of the hands of the people for the good of the people.
Because Western nations are either past or present colonizers and / or bastions of monarchism (open or latent), they themselves suffer from vicious sectarianism. Their callous, entrenched and selfish elite are trying to impose this same sectarianism on the Muslim world. The ‘divide and conquer’ policy is not something that they do not fail to use at the national level, of course.
It is rightly called “sectarianism” outside the West, but inside the West it is given a more innocuous name – “identity politics”. Both are the politics of battles for the privileges of the elite, of “us against them”, of anti-unity, of an individualism that strives to know no legal limits.
âIdentity politicsâ is anti-republican because it is sectarian. You hear this constantly in France – they have a history of mass revolution to draw upon, after all. In the United States, identity politics is cynically seen as a necessary evil in a world with only heartless societies.
The profiting elite seek division in both California and Nebraska, just as they want division in Lebanon and Iraq, just as they now want division in Afghanistan with blazing urgency.
This year’s conference focused on Afghanistan, as it is currently the ground zero of the struggle for unity in the Muslim world regarding the world war against a sense of arrogant privilege that some people call “reactionary”, which others call “fascism”. and what other people call âevilâ.
In Part 1, the geopolitical foundations of Islamic Unity Week have now been described, allowing us to see the correctness of the title of Part 2, “Iran’s Islamic Unity Week: A a place free from fascist / reactionary / anti-Muslim influences â. In 2021, the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan makes such a refuge incredibly necessary for Islamic unity as well as world harmony.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)