Is the New Caliphate near?

Paragraph 1: At the end of last week, a major work by contemporary Islamic thinker Owamir Anjum was published on our website, the meaning of which can be summarized in two words: that the Caliphate is not an adventure, but something more or less real and beneficial for Muslims, serving the cause of their unity. Today, it can only emerge as an Islamic Union — a Muslim counterpart to the European Union and NATO.

Paragraph 2: In the same week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seemed to try to illustrate this idea. First, in a November 27 speech to the Economic Section of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, he again called for the Muslim world to be given a voice in solving problems that affect all of humanity, and for the Muslim world itself to strive to be taken into account.

Paragraph 3: «There is no point in deluding ourselves. The non-permanent members of the UN Security Council have no influence on the decision-making process. All decisions depend on the opinion of the five permanent members of the Security Council. No decision is taken against the will of these countries.» Furthermore, noting that there is not a single Muslim country among these countries, he stressed: «This is unfair. The current world order was formed by the victorious countries at the end of the Second World War. The activities of the UN no longer meet today’s challenges.

Paragraph 4: As for the Muslim countries themselves, Erdogan called on them to «believe in their own strength and base their policies on the power of the Islamic world,» stressing that it is the lack of unity among Muslim countries that allows them to be manipulated.

Paragraph 5: Second, this week he tried to bring the ideal of unity among Muslim countries one step closer to reality. As we reported today, Turkey has signed agreements for various types of cooperation with the Government of National Unity in Libya (GNU) as the legitimate authority of the country. This agreement is interesting not only because of the parties involved, but also because of what it entails.

Paragraph 6: This agreement stipulates the existence of a maritime border between Turkey and Libya in the form of its eastern part, which is currently under the control of General Haftar’s forces, supported by Saudi Arabia, France and Russia. It follows that if Ankara takes this agreement seriously, it will try to remove Haftar as an obstacle to the implementation of its ambitious Mediterranean strategy.

Paragraph 7: Incidentally, in connection with this signed agreement, we cannot help but raise another issue that we have written about on several occasions, which also concerns the union of Muslims across national borders. By signing such an agreement with the GNU, which many actors are trying to undermine through Haftar’s hands, Ankara clearly assumes the obligation to support it. Unfortunately, it has not yet made such commitments to another of its allies, the Syrian rebels. Therefore, we hope that sooner or later this situation will be rectified and Ankara will sign a similar agreement with the corresponding Syrian government as the legitimate authority of that country.

Paragraph 8: On the other hand, the events that we also wrote about this week, especially the new wave of Turkish-Emirati-Saudi conflict due to the publication of an anti-Ottoman series in these countries, do not inspire optimism regarding the prospects of uniting the Muslim world. After all, no matter how we attribute the problem to the anti-Islamist regimes in these countries, a significant part of the region is their ally — the nearly 100 million people of Egypt, as long as the current junta reigns, and the same Haftar in Libya.

Paragraph 9: In other words, there is a clear division that greatly weakens the positions of Muslim countries, forcing them to spend energy fighting each other instead of uniting to solve common Muslim problems. By the way, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently agreed to create a common cryptocurrency. So we can see that there is integration on both sides, but it is directed against each other. And as long as such internal conflicts continue to divide the Islamic world, we can only dream of an Islamic union as a new caliphate.

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