Tuesday, November 12, 2013

( 13 ) " Colonialism, Nationalism, Islam and Independence Struggle. "

By Sodium

The chapter that has dealt with this topic ( 13 ) is not easy to outline after reviewing. Such an uneasiness stems from the fact related to the total contents of the chapter which, in reality, touches the lives of 1.6 billion human beings who have happened to be Muslims. Hence, in order to provide the readers with a precise account of  such a chapter, one must quote the entire 23 pages that comprised the chapter. Such lengthy quotes will certainly be taxing on this essay's writer. Therefore, it is out of consideration.

What is then the solution?

The solution lies with the title of  topic ( 13 ) which embodies the following words:

~  Colonialism
~  Nationalism
~  Islam
~  Independence Struggle.

By independently outlining comments made on each of the above list, one maybe able to provide adequate information on each and at the same time leave it to the readers to make the necessary connections amongst them to see the whole complex picture:

Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A world Without Islam, " has quoted what Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner and  a chief economist at the World Bank had said about past and present colonialism. Stiglitz's quote sums it nicely about the colonialism of the Western colonial powers' deeds in the countries they colonialized:

"   Colonialism left a mix legacy in the developing world-but one clear result was the view among people there that they had been cruelly exploited .... The political independence that came to scores of colonies after World War II did not put an end to economic colonialism. In some regions, such as Africa, the exploitation-the extraction of natural resources and the rape of the environment, all in return for a pittance-was obvious. Elsewhere it was more subtle. In many parts of the world, global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank came to be seen as instruments of post-colonial control. These institutions pushed market fundamentalism ( " neoliberalism, " it was often called ), a notion idealized by Americans as " free and unfettered markets. "...free market ideology turned out to be an excuse for new forms of exploitation."

"   Above all, the Muslim world's oil and energy resources have been a key driver for incessant Western intervention over ownership, of the oil, control of the oil companies, pricing policies and shares of prices, political manipulation of leaders in order to obtain the best deal on oil, and political and armed intervention. "

In short, nothing has really changed.

As one thinks of nationalism in the Muslim world, Arab nationalism comes to mind, as expressed in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire. So does the Algerian revolt against the French's annexation of Algeria and the on-going Palestinian struggle against Zionism in Palestine.

Graham Fuller writes: " When Arabs finally broke with the multiethnic Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Islam obviously played no role in the event; it was, after all, a Muslim versus Muslim struggle. When the conflict entailed Arab versus Turk, only ethnicity could serve as a rallying cry, not Islam. Ethnic nationalism achieved prominence in the Arab world, for example, under Egypt Gamal Abdul Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s as the basis of resistance against European intervention and neo-imperialism. But in the face of ultimate weaknesses of the Arab nationalist movement, nationalism became discredited as a force and the Islamic identity took its place--a stage that has not yet ended. "

The author of the book, " A World Without Islam, " raises the following question:

Why the Expanding Role of Muslim Identity?

And he answers his own question by so many fascinating meticulous details of which the following quote may suffice for the purpose of getting an idea of the topic at hand:

"   At a time when the whole Muslim world is felt to be under siege, the Muslim identity has often become paramount for most Muslims. Muslims in Malaysia watch Palestinians being killed on TV, Kashmiris watch Chechens, Nigerian watch Iraqis, Afghans watch Somalis. Most other identities lose importance when communities are dominated by violence and the Global War on Terror. But this is not the normal state of affairs. The excessive prominence of the Muslim identity over other elements of identity primary emerges in times of hardship. Islam then becomes an expanded and international rallying cry."

That is why the " Expanding Role of Muslim Identity " passionately and spontaneously takes hold in the international scene, especially whenever a crisis arises that touches slightly or profoundly the mistrust that has existed, since time immemorial, between the Muslim and Western worlds. Islam, in this case, is the most effect instrument to upturn injustices.

Independence Struggle:
In addition to what has already been outlined under the heading "Nationalism " above, the following quote will add more light for a more profound comprehension of what has been going on between the people of the Muslim world and the neocolonial powers:

" Imperialism invariably endangers anti-imperialist reactions. Anti-imperial movements have embraced varying ideologies at different times to attain their ends. After World War II, it was leftist nationalist ideology that dominated the ideological scene in the Middle East. Nasser's national message from Egypt still has a familiar ring: denunciation of intervention in the Middle East, a demand for Muslims to exercise sovereign control their own energy resources, the elimination of Western military bases in the Middle East, and a call for a just solution to the running sore of the dispossessed Palestinians.

"   We forget that in the 1950s and 1960s, it was Arab nationalism that was viewed as the predominant threat to Western interests in the Middle East, stimulating the United States and Britain into covert operations to overthrow leaders in Iran and Syria and to manipulate the Egyptian political scene. ( The United States disastrously continues to believe, into the twenty-first century, that it can ignore and override Arab, or other, nationalism--which is what crises with Iraq and Syria have been all about. ) And in an earlier time, as astonishing as it may seen today, the U S and U K often identified the Islamists as the weapon with which to weaken Arab nationalist leadership and local Soviet interests."

In the opinion of Graham Fuller, "all these policies are ultimately counterproductive in that they stir anger within the countries in question, weaken the prestige of their rulers, and stimulate local radicalism and violence. This kind of long term political and economic interventionism has taken on rawer form in the Middle East than in almost any other part of the world: since the beginning of the Global War on Terror, it has extended and deepened its roots, causing emotions to boil over and making extrication difficult. "

And the Independence Struggle Continues against the warmongering profiteers, economic exploitations, and neocolonialism agenda; all of which serve only the ruling class, across the globe, on the expense of the middle classes and the poor of this entropic world of the 21st Century.

Final words:
This website has published an essay entitled, " Thoughts on Edward Said and T.E. Lawrence." Date of publication was March 19, 2010. It is highly recommended to the interested readers to read it, since its content is closely related to this topic.


Next topic will be topic ( 14 ) War, Resistance, Jihad, and Terrorism.