An article in Crescent International, 16-31 August, 1982, highlighting a point from Dr Kalim Siddiqui’s keynote address at the Muslim Institute Hajj Seminar in London, August 1982. Reprinted in Issues in the Islamic movement, vol. 3, 1982-83 (1402-03), pp. 31-32. (This was not written by Dr Kalim Siddiqui.)
Call to create four regional Islamic States
By our London correspondent
A call to redraw the entire map of the Muslim world was made at a seminar in London earlier this month. The scheme, outlined by Dr Kalim Siddiqui, means that the 40 or more ‘lslamic’ nation-States as we know them today would disappear, to be replaced by four new regional ‘Islamic States‘.
Dr Siddiqui was speaking at the International Hajj Seminar of the Muslim Institute. Welcoming scholars, journalists and workers in the Islamic movement from all over the world, he said that the unity of the Ummah could not remain an abstract value. If unity has any meaning and modern relevance, he said. it must mean the physical consolidation and institutionalization of the Ummah.
Pointing out that the existing nation States serve ‘the goals or global imperialism’, Dr Siddiqui said: ‘The Islamic movement must commit itself to the abolition of the nation States that divide the Ummah in the fashion of a jigsaw puzzle’. Looking far into the future, he suggested the outlines of four new Islamic States to replace the present galaxy of nation States.
In Dr Siddiqui’s vision of the future, the four new Islamic States will emerge from regional consolidation. A new Islamic State will emerge in the Far East ‘taking in modern Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and parts of the Philippines’. Then there will he an Islamic State comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the Gulf States, the Arabian Peninsula and areas now under Russian colonialism. The third Islamic State will include Egypt, Somalia, the Sudan, and the States of the North African coast up to and including Morocco and Mauritania. The fourth new State would take in Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, and the little republics that are strewn along the western and southern coast of West Africa from Senegal to Gabon.
Dr Siddiqui admitted that the scheme he outlined was ‘highly speculative’ and almost certainly included ‘many anomalies‘. The detailed scheme, he said, must emerge from a thorough debate in the Islamic movement over many years. But, he said, if the Ummah is to overcome its present lethargy it has to be presented with a bold and imaginative alternative.
Dr Sidtliqui argued that Islam and Muslims are once again faced with a form at jahiliyyah: the western civilization. According to him, the clash between Islam and the new jahiliyyah is as inevitable as the clash that occurred between the new message of Islam and the jahiliyyah that prevailed in Arabia at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace. The new clash between the now dominant civilization and lslam will, said Dr Siddiqui, follow roughly the same pattern, and end in victory for Islam.
Dr Siddiqui regards the Hajj as the most central and vital surviving institution of Islam. ‘The Ummah,’ he said, ‘cannot begin to function again as a global goal-seeking community of the faithful until such time as its central institutional structures are restored to full health’. The Hajj, he said, should he restored to its proper dynamic role in the affairs of the Ummah and of the Islamic movement.
However, Dr Siddiqui regards the Islamic State as ‘the most central of all institutions’ of Islam. The Islamic State, he said, is ‘the natural habitat’ of the Muslims, as water is for fish. He compared the modern nation-States with ‘aquarium-type enclosures’ where the Muslims’ freedom is denied to them. The Islamic State is the only instrument of freedom, as well as its guarantor, he said.
Dr Siddiqui dismissed those Islamic movements that operate as ‘national political parties’ as irrelevant to the needs of the Ummah. He said that Islamic Iran had ‘catapulted the entire Ummah into a post-revolutionary period.’ Dr Siddiqui said that the most captivating feature of the Islamic Revolution was ‘the transparent taqwa of the leadership.’ This is in sharp contrast to the corruption and self-indulgence of the nationalist ‘leaders’ who have emerged as rulers in Muslim nation-States.
Dr Siddiqui called for a partnership between the ‘global Islamic movement’ and the Islamic State of Iran. He pointed out that the population of Iran is less than 40 million, whereas the Ummah comprises 1,000 million Muslims. ‘The relationship between the Islamic State and the Islamic movement ought to be so close as to make each part of the other’, he said.
Crescent International, August 16-31, 1982