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The Pyramid of Globalization and its Impact on the Muslim World

By Prof. Md. Maimul Ahsan Khan

The constitutional elements of globalization are distributed from states as sovereign players and their associations up to international organizations of all kind i.e., global, regional, military, and trade and commerce related international institutions. In terms of function and content of various elements of globalization they can be classified between political, economic, educational, technological, and cultural organisms. The pyramidal structure of these organisms maintains several levels of development and establishes a number of tiers at national and global horizons. Configuration of global and regional powers can be found in the structure of the pyramid of globalization.

Transformation of agrarian societies into industrialized states has made the globalization process a reality in terms of productivity, distribution, and consumption at the same time. But the world has been divided sharply between developed and under-developed states. For the first time, since the early history of Islam, all Muslim states fell under the category of under-developed world. Since the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte Muslim countries have been colonized under different names and forms. With the collapse of the global colonial system overt military domination over the Muslim world has ended for a brief period of time. But Muslim states could not gain any substantial place in the global constitution of power configuration.

The emergence of the UN systems and subsequent superpower rivalry between the US and USSR have confused many Muslim leaders about the real state of ummah in the global power configuration. During the Cold War period Muslim countries by and large were hunted by the politics of superpower rivalry, diplomacy, and arms race. The territorial boundaries of Muslim nation-states created by the former colonial powers have created a false imagination of political and military sovereign powers for Muslim peoples.

With the emergence of quasi-monopolistic corporate powers in international trade and commerce led by industrialized countries, the functions and powers of sovereign states has become limited at domestic levels. Pattern of limited government has become fashionable, and typical totalitarian form of governance has now been regarded out of date. The states in their typical form of sociopolitical and economic institutions virtually ceased to exist and reign of corporations have began. The rules of deregulations and free trade were grossly misunderstood by the former European communist regimes, including the Soviet Union. With or Without Afghan issues the Soviet Union had to crumble as a military and political empire. After the 1991 Gulf War the pinnacle of the pyramid of global power has become ever narrower occupied by a lone superpower.

At the political level Washington did not want to see any reason why permanent membership of UN Security Council should be opened at least for the Germany and Japan. At economic level, however, the American diplomacy did everything to open of the gates G7 for the Russians to save the status of a holder of the Veto Power at the UN Security Council. Failing to be a part of the G7, now Moscow has been showing interest to be integrated in the NATO and European Union. Being a member of NATO, Turkey has failed miserably at all fronts and the Europeans have been resisting all Turkish efforts to be a member of EU. Muslim countries have become virtually irrelevant to the global systems of any kind. Most of the Western analysts tend to believe that only because of oil and gas resources still Muslim states maintain some kind of global importance and Westerners are very reluctant to acknowledge the huge geo-political and environmental importance of the Muslim world.

Regional economic cooperation and collaboration between the neighboring states have emerged as a deterrent against the major ills or side affects of aggressive globalization driven by primarily capitalist interests. Knowing very well about the consequence of uneven globalization process, Washington Quickly established NAFTA. Apparently Muslims and Arabs understood that strategy well. But none of the international and regional organizations composed of Muslim states such as OIC, Arab League, GCC, and ECO could deliver anything substantial in any front of globalization or global politics and diplomacy. The Iraq-Iran war (1980-88), Gulf War (1991), and other burning issues in any hot-spots such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Kashmir, Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and so forth have proved how unsuccessful are the Muslim states as players of international politics and diplomacy.

Number of Muslims is now counted over 1.3 billion and 56 countries are now regarded as Muslim states. Why these states have been failing so miserably at all global and regional levels? What are the underlying predicaments of political and military importance of the Muslims states? Do the economic performance has caused such wide range of failures of the Muslim nation-states? What is the consequence of educational background of the Muslim nations in other areas of excellence in global order? This paper would address some of these Muslim predicaments at different international levels with special emphasis on the issues of globalization and its success and failure relevant to the Muslim world.

Structure of the work

Industrial Revolution: Muslim Rulers and Observers
Global Colonial Domination over the Muslim World
Pattern of Legal and Political Reform: 1789-1979
Ideological Conflicts over Economic Issues: Lost Opportunities
Cold War Dynamics: A Cost-Benefit Analysis for the Muslims
Armed Race and the Main Beneficiaries
Global Political Order: Muslim States and Organizations
Global Trade and Business: Muslim Participation
Philosophy of Islamic Economics and Banking: Many Pathways