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Muslims and Globalization

by

AbuBakr Karolia

South Africa, November 24, 2000

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Muslims and Globalization

Muslims in the last decade are experiencing an unprecedented crisis in presenting a model, which is likely to be part of an acceptable solution for many of the ills of humanity. Many questions needs to be answered with regard to, Unity, strategy, consultation, and a system management before any solutions can be effective for a broad strategy. Further challenges especially with regard to the concept of globalisation needs to be evaluated, studied and necessary creative tools are required for active engagement.

The word ‘globalization’ in the ‘Encarta dictionary is defined as the process by which social institutions becomes adopted on a global scale or a business starts operating at an international level. The word ‘global’ relates to happenings throughout the whole world or taking the different aspect of a situation into account. The word ‘globalism’ relates to a global political view, i.e. a belief that political policies should take a worldwide issue into account before focusing on national or state concerns, or the advocacy of this belief. The linguistic study and explanation of these words clarifies the political context that the word globalisation as used in the media and in the circles of power. Finally the clever remark, that a global village is when the whole world is considered as a single community served by the electronic media and information technology.

The ‘million-dollar’ question is whether globalisation through the insinuation of it its political worldview is a threat to world peace and if it threatens the freedom of expression and whether it allows self-determination of humankind’s destiny. What are the ramifications and implication in the usage of the word globalisation? What challenges can Muslims formulate to deal with globalisation within positive aspects through dialogue and study? Will an active engagement lead to a responsible discussion or a crucial confrontation?

This paper’s task is an attempt to analyse and evaluate how Muslims can critically understand this active engagement and to find clarity in deciphering signals worldwide and to implement a plan and a strategy that is necessary for the survival of alternatives ideas. An introduction of alternative ideas is to find intelligibility in our participation and whether substitutes offered against or alongside the concept of globalisation is the answer for the future world. Case studies, arguments and analysis against the concept of globalisation are presented through the experiences of South Africa, Iraq and the political concepts of a liberal democracy and peace.

 

Background

The demise of the USSR has removed the veils of the romantics who had hoped for a secular social order, which before the nineties brought about the confrontation of the ‘cold war’ between capitalist west and Marxist-socialist east and now brought to an end. This brought to reality for the first time the ultimate intention of establishing a new world order through the principles of globalisation and free trade, an idea supported by the so-called first world countries. The UN, the World Bank, the IMF and the support of the world banking institutions as Chase Manhattan and Citibank etc, are the conduits to make the world understand the concept of globalisation through liberal and social democracies. The so-called G7 countries would implement global policy and leadership to drive this political vehicle through economic power.

 

South Africa

These principles of globalisation are perfectly placed and the leverage of influence should be properly understood as in the example during the change over of power by the apartheid regime under F W De Klerk to the ANC in South Africa in 1994. Chester Crocket of the USA brokered this entire process and the South African facilitator was Van Zyl Slabbet of the liberal Progressive Party who was closely linked to ‘big business’ especially the mining conglomerates. 

The ANC and the people of South Africa were superbly duped by experts in the art of deception and false promises of a prosperous future. Billions of Dollars, Pounds, Yens, and Deutch Marks were promised to kick start the South African economy. These funds never came and the ANC’s dream was shattered and the reality of charting a country destroyed by decades of oppression and injustice. The violence and crime are at unacceptable levels and facing an economic dilemma as the South African currency Rand now hovers at unprecedented lows. The monthly trade surplus is healthy and buoyant but its full potential is frustrated by exchange rate difference against the currencies of its trading partners instead of a fair or just economic practise. This fair or just economic model is elusive because in reality global economic systems are designed for the benefit of the wealthy countries. 

The country is being raped in the name of free markets, liberal democracies and a government that the international business economic circles recognizes that, it has no hope of any delivery to the South African people. Therefore the perfect choice for the job is to establish a government, which accepts the rules as proposed by the leaders of western democracy and the so-called free markets. 

The control of these positions requires not only power but also a vast amount of cash and the control of global markets. These controls are manipulated by a so-called free market system linked to a now perfected system of economic bureaucracy repressed by an iniquitous techno-usurious system. The placing of this subtle mechanism is the erosion of real wealth from the people to a few institutions, multinational and individuals who systematize and influence worldwide through leaders who are co-opted, yield to pressure or are happy to be in power and not concerned about priorities of a leader to the country and the people. 

The South African economy is now being dictated by the macro economic design of GEAR, (growth, employment and reconstruction) which is the brainchild of the World Banks. Gear is about the control of government spending and the balancing of the national budget, which services the payment of interest on loans borrowed by the previous apartheid government.  The interest on this debt alone translates to approximately 24% of the annual budget. The payment of this loan is based on the Dollar and with the deterioration of the Rand, the amount bludgeons into unacceptable figures. This oppression puts undue pressure on the delivery of basic services, e.g. proper healthcare, free education, housing and the support for security measures for the eradication of crime and corruption. The alleviation of poverty and to find a cure for the dreaded disease, as HIV-Aids is a ‘pipe dream’ because of this pressure placed on the economy of South Africa. 

The political ethics is subservient to the principles of globalisation and the so- called, new free market economy. Africa is being brought to its knees through unstable government, corrupt leaders and if that does not work: then through liberal secular democracies. 

The element the G7 countries await from the ANC is a realisation that it cannot withstand an economic attack, which will make South Africa ungovernable. The global hegemony, impatiently awaits an international confirmation by the ANC to recognize their obligation to the so-called free market principles and ultimately be fully accepted as a full representative of the new world order. What worries the architect’s of globalisation is the South African peoples history of resistance against apartheid, the eradicating of oppression and resistance against an unjust government. This reason is a cause for concern and caution against the acceptance as full members by the G7 countries. Not conforming to the principle ideas of the G7 countries encourages an onslaught on South Africa’s assets, and integrity, thus the values of self-government and self-determination becomes a hopeless exercise.

 

Iraq

Similarly the Muslim countries are expected to understand the subtle politics of global economies. The reality is that present Muslim leaders do not have the foresight to understanding why many of them have been brought to their knees by western powers e.g. Iraq under Saddam Hussein who did not conform to the rules of international underhand deals which he renegade and subsequently, paying a life-time penalty for his misdeed. When the USA and UK and some Muslim countries supported Iraq to attack Iran in 1981. Then there were no objections internationally because this was a global clubhouse decision. 

After the war when Saddam had misused his membership by attacking a member country Kuwait, the USA and UK unilaterally attacked Iraq under the war campaign ‘Dessert Storm’. Iraq and Saddam Hussein paid an expensive price of imposed sanctions and a further lost and death of 500,000 children and very little was left of Iraq’s infrastructure, which probably set it back about 60 years. 

This neutralised Iraq as well as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who had been cut to size through their payment of extortion debts owed to the UK and USA because of the Desert Storm campaign. A so –called war debt these Muslims countries are paying for what was the real reason the American Dollar and American economy boomed in the nineties and extended in the new millennium. Operation ‘Dessert Storm’ had achieved its objective by fighting a war and making a huge profit and showing off an active platform of power against all who misunderstand the idea of globalisation or challenged it.

 

Liberal Democracy and Peace

The word liberal is described as an outlook or a person who is tolerant of different views and standard of behaviour in others. The political view is deemed as progressively political or social and favouring gradual reforms that extends democracy and which distributes wealth more evenly and protects the personal freedom of the individual. 

A liberal Democracy is a modern Western political system that has free elections, a multiplicity of political parties and political decisions made through an independent legislature, an independent judiciary, with a state monopoly on law enforcement. 

A nuance of a liberal, liberalism and a liberal democracy is linked to secularism and because of the states monopoly on law it bring out an insinuation of ‘no say’ until the next elections. Liberal democracies have become modern tools of subtlety and prejudiced control, e.g. it would promote religious rights, but will not tolerate religious freedom or a government based on religion. This is demonstrated in the western press of the various debates on the country Iran, which is predominantly governed by Muslim theologians. In the modern connotation of liberal views which smacks against the principles of ethics and morality. This is illustrated from the examples of state lotteries, gambling, alcohol consumption, legalised prostitution and lewd behaviour and many other examples. 

This freedom allows the individual and society to ultimately devastate itself through choice and a lack of discipline and immorality. The idealistic liberal politician expects society and the individual to conform to the value system of government and to maintain a status quo. Currently in the Southern African region Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is a typical example of a despotic ruler in the context of a social democracy. In this country, majority politics is used against minorities to stay in power. 

Zimbabwe’s government should consult sincerely and implement decisions at grass root levels. This route has an implication to clear up most of the dissatisfaction between people and groups. Peace, freedom and justice have nothing to do with the present social democratic government in Zimbabwe but effective wielding of irresponsible power. By the will of the majority a government prevails, who is neither for the majority or the minority, but for themselves. If this is not an example of mismanagement and un-govern-ability, then what is it? 

The truth is that until such time that leaders and are committed to a government by maintaining a status quo for domination and the countries wealth goes towards propping up the bureaucracies and to maintain the government, peace or prosperity will remain elusive. While people remain ignorant and oppressed and the government is not representative of the people then there is room for criticism and dissatisfaction against the leadership of liberal democracies and to find alternatives.

 

Solutions

It may be that world opinion and the quest for happiness is presently illusive and related to many factors and the present papers discussion is narrowed to globalisation & liberal democracies as a part of those factors. A democratic slogan of ‘liberty, equality and freedom’ sounds rhetorical and idealistic worldwide; especially that most of the worlds developing population is engulfed in poverty, disease and wars. The celebrated death of colonialism was premature as is the coming of the globalisation, which is the birth child of colonialism. 

The new colonialism is subtler and its control is through economic oppression. This hegemony is based on a techno-usurious system, which is sponsored by northern hemisphere countries. The IMF/World Bank/ WTO and the developed countries have long criticised poor countries for a lack of democracy, transparency and accountability. These charges can easily be turned back on the developed countries based on their selfish hegemonic designs. 

Initiatives as the anti WTO demonstration in Seattle also illustrate the growing dissatisfaction amongst civil societies against unfair practices of economic globalisation. New discussion that impact further against globalisation is the lack of communication and commitment on alleviating poverty and the development of poor countries. The negative impact of globalisation on the poor and to help them access benefits is a widening divide. 

The solution which evades humanity are in the hands of enlightened ordinary people worldwide who are willing to develop consultative communities based on pure and defined belief system which will simplify lifestyle and realise the unity of humanity and the protection of the environment. This unity of humanity may just be the antidote to rid mankind of oppressive systems and leaders through the process of these liberal social democracies, mainly because the disillusionment that people feel by these systems. If there are solutions in the process of liberal democracies at least it will expose those leaders who are corrupt and egotistical. 

One can critically assess that Liberal democracies rid humanity of despotic leaders who tries to establish themselves as democratic leaders. The democratic process hopefully will realise the next step of a consultative process of morality and ethics headed by a vicegerent who cherishes the noble principles of a pure belief. The educational process that is necessary for humanity is to understand the realizing of happiness as our potential vis a vis, to power and greed. 

Modern political stages can be narrowly evaluated through the renaissance period, then the industrial revolution, colonisation, eradication of the Muslim Caliphate, the entrenchment of the banking systems, nation states, globalisation, social democracies, liberal democracies and liberal economic markets These stages require an in depth and an a unbiased study and at least proportionately defined through history of their benefits to humankind. 

Humanity should not be livid or angry but to ‘liven up’ and take a proactive stance and develop a resistance against ideas that are corrupt and hegemonic in design. To find enlightened human beings who can protect the world from gross oppression, disease and ignorance. 

A sincere and devout study of Islam is the basis and solution for the success of attaining this peace and happiness for humanity. This qualified system from inception led by Muhammad (S) a man, a prophet and a leader of mankind through scientific analysis and broad criteria judged as the No 1 man ever to live on this earth. 

This belief system prescribed as a way of life and divinely guided, which is bound by morality, ethics, law and the respect for individuals and society. The message of Islam the true divine prescription is the future of humanity. This message is not reflected amongst the present day Muslims. The message of Islam will have to re-organise by enlightened people who respect themselves and the peace of the world. The message of Islam is liberation from human designs and a message of Peace, which is achieved through Submission to the will of God, which brings Peace with God, Peace with oneself and Peace with all God’s creation. This is humankind’s quest of finding the ultimate and everlasting peace.

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