THE TURKISH ISLAMIC
UNION AND THE WEST
The resulting stability in the Islamic world, created by the political and economical cooperation between Muslim nations, will enable the West to establish balanced relations with Muslims. With the formation of the Turkish Islamic Union, Muslim nations will first resolve their own internal differences and then follow balanced and stable policies toward the external world. Differences between Muslim nations, as well as tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim nations, will be resolved by the Turkish Islamic Union in a peaceful and just manner.
The Negative Impact of a State of Conflict on America
The artificial tensions between Islam and the West, as well as the "clash
of civilizations" scenarios promoted by certain circles, are damaging
to the Islamic world and to the West. Thus, the masses live in fear and
worry. This situation became more noticeable after 9/11. A large portion
of the American people suffers from the psychological effects deriving
from the media's ongoing insinuation that "we can be attacked again at
any time." The research figures published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association by Dr. William E. Schelenger are noteworthy. A survey
conducted in Washington, D.C., and New York with 2,273 subjects that sought
to measure the effect of 9/11 on the American public yielded the following
The prevalence of probable PTSD (post-traumatic
stress disorder) among people who were in New York City on September
11 was 11.2 percent, compared to 4.3 percent for the nation as a whole.
. . . In addition, the researchers found that the prevalence of probable
PTSD was significantly associated with the number of hours of TV coverage
of the attacks that participants reported watching, and with the number
of different kinds of potentially traumatic events they reported seeing.44
These figures are only
a small example of the damage that tension and conflict inflict upon the
human soul. Clearly, it is dangerous to escalate tension and feed people's
It is certainly important for the American administration to take the necessary precautions to protect America against attacks as well as to remove any worries in this respect. However, the proposed strategy should not further increase tension, and the public mind should not be left under the impression of constant danger. Policies should evoke calmness and follow peaceful methods.
The best way to relieve the American administration's anxieties, as well as those of the public, is the formation of the Turkish Islamic Union. This event will prevent the efforts of those people and organizations that try to legitimize terrorism by misinterpreting Islam. Moreover, it can reveal that their flawed religious interpretations, which place all Muslims under suspicion, have no validity whatsoever, and thereby prevent any mental confusion among the masses. The effectiveness of the propaganda of those seeking to create tension, as well as their efforts to spread it, will naturally weaken and stall. An environment conducive to tolerance, peace, dialogue, and cooperation will be created, and peaceful policies will gain the upper hand.
The Danger of the West's Disintegration
War caused serious divisions in the West, and anti-war demonstrators
organized mass demonstrations.
America's Post 9/11 policy, especially the invasion of Iraq, caused serious
disagreements and a rift in the West. In America, a polarization between
the advocates of war and the defenders of peace materialized, and each
party accused the other of barbarism or treason. During the run-up to
the invasion and in the post-invasion period, serious disagreements emerged
in such international bodies as the UN and the EU, which led some strategists
to state that the Western alliance would disintegrate. For example, millions
of people throughout the West and the world demonstrated against the invasion.
All of this could have been prevented by a strong Turkish Islamic Union, which could have rapidly answered the legitimate demands of the West for decommissioning Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction and preventing support for terrorism. Measures taken by the Turkish Islamic Union would have yielded fast results, and the desired results could have been achieved without the resulting military campaign, which caused a massive loss of life and property.
Excessive Defense Expenditures
When national budgets are examined, it emerges that their largest component
consists of defense and military expenditures. During the twentieth century,
250 small or large-scale wars were fought and 110 million people died.
The First World War was fought by 20 countries. Ten million people died,
and destruction spread from the front lines and devastated civilian urban
areas. History's worst war, the Second World War, was fought by 110 million
soldiers, of which 27 million died at the front lines and another 25 million
civilians lost their lives. This war devastated tens of countries in an
area stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.
It will be proper and conscientious to divert that part of the
budget allocated to weaponry to the education of children and
For instance, 1.5 million homes in Germany were destroyed,
leaving 7.5 million people homeless. In addition, 6 million homes were
destroyed in the Soviet Union, as well as 1,700 towns and cities, and
Between 1990-2000, 56 armed conflicts broke out in 44 different regions
of the world.
In short, the last century was an extremely bloody one.
Sadly, these losses increased military investments and inflated national
defense budgets even further, instead of becoming a lesson and a cause
for peace. The material costs of the twentieth century's major wars was
huge: The First World War cost $2,85 trillion, the Second World War cost
$4 trillion, the Korean war cost $340 billion, the Suez war cost $13 billion,
the Vietnam war cost $720 billion, the Israeli-Arab war cost $21 billion,
the Afghan war of 1979-89 cost $116 billion, and the Iraq-Iran war cost
this century, military budgets have continued to grow. Reports published
in 2002 showed that the world's total military expenditure had reached
$1 trillion. In comparison, 1.2 billion people subsist on an income of
under $1 per day, 113 million children have no access to education, and
every year more than 11 million children die because of poverty and bad
living conditions. For the same reasons, one in every 48 children is stillborn.47
America tops the military budget
list with an annual $400 billion; a further $45 billion was requested
by the Congress for the war on terrorism). This
figure is greater than the combined military expenditures of all G8 countries.48 Next comes Russia ($60 billion) and China ($42 billion).49 Furthermore, America has military bases in over 40 countries and a smaller
or larger military presence in 132 out of the 190 member states of the
UN. Military aid to foreign countries is a significant cost factor in
the budgets of Western countries, particularly in the case of America.
It can be assumed that America's economy can easily
absorb such a huge defense budget, but figures reveal that that this expenditure
has a considerably negative effect. Consider the following facts: Right
now in America, 31 million people-including 12 million children- live
under the poverty line; 3% of US households experience hunger and 7% of
US households are at risk of hunger; and a great proportion of them do
not receive any state aid. Since 1994, aid to such people has decreased
by a third.50
These figures demonstrate the urgency of bringing peace to the world in order to reduce the amount of resources swallowed up by defense budgets. The Turkish Islamic Union will end all conflict and tension within the Islamic world, and thereby create a global atmosphere of peace and contentment that will allow both Muslim and non-Muslim nations to reduce their military expenditures. As a result, the investments made in arms technology and the money spent on arms development will be diverted to education, medicine, science, and culture. Such reductions will enable far greater resources to be used to solve such problems as famine, poverty, ecological damage, and infectious diseases. With the security issues eased, the living standards of all nations will increase and policies designed to improve the quality of life will be implemented. Funds dedicated to cultural and educational projects will increase, and a spiritually healthy, physically strong, compassionate, and loving generation will emerge.
Every year, the American government gives
millions of dollars to Israel to establish security and to support
it. This is quite normal for nations who are allies. However,
a permanent peace in the Middle East will enable such expenses
to be lowered so that aid can be increased to such essential social
sectors as education, health, and caring for the needy.
This atmosphere of peace is urgently needed in three
problematic areas of the Islamic world: the Balkans, Central Asia, and
the Middle East. America has a military presence in all these areas. Every
year, it diverts huge funds to Israel because of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The one-sided and strong influence of the Israeli lobby over American
foreign policy plays an important role in determining the amount of this
aid in the Congress. Research by economist Thomas Stauffer reveals that
aid to Israel since 1973 has cost the American people a total of $1.6
trillion. Dividing this amount by America's present population puts this
figure at $5,700 per person.51 America can and does
help its allies, Israel as well as other countries, but removing the basic
justifications for this aid will be a positive development for the American
economy and for the future of Israeli citizens.
It is not difficult to change this situation and allow both peoples to find peace and security. The formation of the Turkish Islamic Union will be an important step toward peace in the region, for it will protect the rights of Christians and Jews living in the Middle East and the rest of the Islamic world, so that the West will have no need to devise separate strategies and commit funds for their protection.
Securing Energy Resources
At the beginning of the twentieth century, coal was the single most important
source of energy. In the 1950s, coal was replaced by oil. Before the Second
World War, industry was driven by steam power, which was fuelled by coal;
after that war, oil and combustion engine usage increased dramatically.
In the latter part of the twentieth century, natural gas emerged as an
alternative energy source and began to play an important role in the world
The global economy depends upon the oil exported from the Islamic
world, especially the Gulf region. That region alone contains two-thirds
of the world's known oil reserves: Iraq has 11% of the world's oil
reserves. The United Arab Emirates has 9.2%, Kuwait has 8.6%, Iran
has 13%, and other OPEC countries have 22.6%. In addition, research
reveals that the oil exports of the Gulf region will increase by
125% between 2000 and 2020.
No doubt, the prevalence of stability and peace in these regions,
as well as true democracy, will enable humanity to benefit from
these resources in the best way. This is only possible through the
establishment of the Islamic Union.
At present, countries with oil and natural gas reserves are crucial for
the world economy in terms of output, political climate, and technological
capability. The oil crisis of 1973 showed just how important this energy
source was for the global economy. The sudden and sharp rise in oil prices
caused global chaos and recession, and similar crises were experienced
in the years after this event.
For this reason, the Muslim countries' great oil, natural gas, and other
valuable mineral reserves play an important role in the West's relationship
with Muslim nations. These countries' geopolitical importance is another
crucial reason why the West seeks control over these resources and influence
in the region. In order to strengthen its position, the West develops
a variety of strategies that resemble the colonial mentality of their
imperialistic past. These strategies destabilize the region, which, in
turn, has a negative impact on the West's interests.
Currently, America consumes approximately 20 million barrels of oil per
day. In the 1950s, it produced 52% of the world's output; today, it imports
53% of its own consumption. Research suggests that American reserves will
be exhausted within the next 20 years. Given that 24% of its imports come
from the Gulf region, this region's importance to America is undeniable.
Likewise, the reserves in Central Asia are equally important for America
and the world. Europe's dependence upon oil and natural gas from these
regions is even greater. As a result of these realities, there is an urgent
need for genuine cooperation between the West and the oil-rich countries.
The West must support these countries' cultural and economical development in order to form and sustain such cooperation. The creation of stability, peace, and a functioning democracy in these natural resource-rich regions will enable the world community to benefit from these reserves in the most effective way. Chaos and instability in these regions, on the other hand, will prevent, or at least severely hamper, the extraction, production, and delivery of these resources to other countries. In times of conflict, security issues make it very hard to acquire these natural resources. For the same reasons, delivering these resources becomes even more problematic and more expensive, for longer transport routes have to be established. Establishing the Turkish Islamic Union will resolve all of these issues within a framework of security.
The Turkish Islamic Union will contribute to developing a model that will use all of these energy resources in the most effective way without harming any country. Muslim countries will move as part of an economic alliance, just as they will do in all other areas, and will develop common policies on resource usage. As this union will prevent regimes from disrupting these policies, which are based upon justice, the pursuit of stable and balanced policies on crucial economic matters, particularly oil production and pricing, will become possible.
The West's Responsibilities
Every country develops and follows a foreign policy with its own interests
at heart in an attempt to benefit its people and its nation's future.
However, this is done with the understanding that no country transgresses
against or harms the interests of another. The same is true for the West's
relationship with Muslim countries. From time to time, some Western countries
develop policies in relation to the Islamic world that have nothing but
their own interests at heart, even at the cost of the Islamic world's
most basic needs. This, in turn, creates anti-Western sentiments among
certain circles of Muslims and a mutual distrust and anxiety between civilizations.
In reality, both parties' fears and worries can be resolved.
However, this requires Western governments, particularly the American,
to be wary of certain powerful circles' influence and desire for a clash
of civilizations. These circles can be defined as follows:
1- Hardliners with a Social Darwinist Perspective
This mentality, which considers non-Western civilizations to be primitive,
was the dominant view in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Supposedly, it was scientifically justified by Darwin's theory of evolution;
however, in reality, it is a remnant of colonialism. As we know, Darwin
claimed that humanity and apes evolved from the same ancestor and that
there were great differences between the races, for some were highly evolved
while others were still "half-apes."
Western imperialists, who saw some nations
as "primitive" and "unevolved," received support
from Darwinism. According to this misguided theory, some nations,
including the Aborigines of Australia, could not complete their
development and thus were inferior to the white race.
This theory was widely recognized at the time of its formulation, but
has been disproved by the strong scientific data obtained over the past
few decades. Western imperialists used Darwin's so-called scientific claims
to justify their exploitation and even enslavement of other nations. Claiming
that the white race was superior to the "lower races struggling for survival,"
they tried to legitimize their policies of colonization and imperialism.
While colonization was continuing at a rapid pace, colonialists were claiming
to bring civilization to these nations. After a while, however, scientific
advancements exposed Darwin's theory as lacking scientific substance and
as nothing more than a myth. It also became clear that imperialists brought
exploitation and misery, rather than civilization, to the lands they colonized.
Still, the effects and remnants of the imperialist mentality and Darwinist
logic continue to exist, albeit on a much smaller scale.
At the present time, certain circles in the West, under the influence
of such flawed reasoning, set out from the premise of their race's and
civilization's superiority when determining how the West will relate with
the rest of the world. Of course, this is a great error that will only
cause more tension and worsen existing problems. Both the Western and
the Islamic civilizations are anchored in history, and both have influenced
one another deeply. Moreover, the differences existing between civilizations
should not be used as fodder for satisfying superiority complexes or,
for that matter, as a source of conflict. To the contrary, the two civilizations
should be seen as complementary and helpful to one another. Furthermore,
all proposals made by the representatives of the military-industrial interest
groups should be received cautiously, for they see international tension
as a potential market and a source of economic gain-even at the cost of
2- Advocates of Militant Christianity
The Kach, a radical organization established by Rabbi Meir Kahane
in Israel that operates in America under the name of the Jewish
Defence League, carried out activities against Muslims in Palestine.
Kach embraces some fanatical ideas, among them the idea that Jews
are superior to all other people and that all non-Jews are animals
(goyim). For this very reason, they advocate the ethnic cleansing
of all Arabs in all lands ruled and occupied by Israel. The murder
of 67 Muslim worshippers, along with the wounding of 300 others,
in the Ibrahim Mosque in 1994 was just one of this fanatic group's
Christianity is a religion of peace and love, for the Bible commands
Christians to love even their enemies and to do good for people. Many
Christians follow this advice and live peacefully. Most churches and religious
leaders in America fall within these parameters. However, some other Christian
leaders have preserved their Crusader instincts, as reflected in their
aggressive and unjustified comments against Islam.