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A third view of Islamic paradox: Can Muslim unity defeat Zionist evil regime’s injustice?

By Chandra Vikash* 
Could India, as a mirror to the ethno-federal One State solution, play a key role in resolving the Palestinian genocide crisis, that has emerged in the global consciousness as a focal point for injustice of centuries-old settler-colonialism project that continues to spread its hydra-headed tentacles through globalisation of this Old World Order?
In the popular opinion in many parts of the world, the Islamic Paradox has been viewed in different light. One is regarding the impact of Islam on the people and countries practicing the religion. A common question in this regard is as follows:
If Islam is the true religion and the last religion for mankind, why are Muslim countries usually poor, dirty, greedy, crude, etc. They have no democracy; and so they are managed by dictators. If the Islamic religion is true, why do all Muslims live under captivity?
Responding to this, Prof Shahul Hameed, author of several books on Islam, comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values shares this short answer and long one here.
“The teachings of Islam, if properly followed, would lead us to the establishment of a society where people are self-sufficient, clean, and refined. And such a society will allow freedom to its members and do everything to eliminate oppression and exploitation. The poverty, misery, and tyranny seen in some parts of the Muslim world today are not the product of Islam. They are a vestige of western colonialism as well as a product of predatory capitalism that ravages the land and its resources.”
A second Islamic Paradox concerns the futility of the War on Terrorism from a western standpoint, if holy warriors endlessly regenerate themselves, echoes of which can be heard in the aftermath of the 10/7 Hamas attack and Zionist Israel’s brazen attempts to ‘finish off’ all Palestinians – innocent in a deranged fit of rage and fury as a ‘collective punishment’ after branding them as ‘human animals’ and even worse than that, just as the German Nazis did to them in dark and dehumanising ‘Final Solution’ in shadows of the Second World War.
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focusing primarily on the Middle East, Islamic militancy, counterterrorism, and intelligence. He is a former director of the Project for the New American Century‘s Middle East Initiative and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute. Formerly a Middle Eastern specialist for the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Gerecht is the author of Know Thine Enemy: A Spy’s Journey into Revolutionary Iran (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997) and a contributor to Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy.
In a 2004 research report titled The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy, Reuel posits the Islamic Paradox in the backdrop of what America described as its War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, whipping up Islamophobia in the aftermath of 9/11 World Trade Centre attack in New York, which many see as a precursor to the 10/7 Hamas attack on Israel, with an attempt to portray it in similar conceptual arrangements, without answering some of the critical questions and instead prohibit asking of these questions into the dark dungeons of ‘conspiracy theory’ as stark as a black hole of global narratives.

A Third View of the Islamic Paradox

For a true religion, the whole world is their homeland. This is how the religions of the world have been, before the advent of Abrahamic or Semitic religions nearly 3000 years back. Should this not apply equally well to Islam as well. So the question is that if we all agree that Zionist state is falsehood and abuse of basic tenets of Judaism, what about Islamic states? This question has become important and also topical, in light of Arab-Islamic Summit, the joint meeting of Muslim countries – across sectarian lines and geopolitical alignments – hosted by Saudi Arabia on Saturday 11 Nov 2023. Its final communique, as reported by Al-Jazeera, ‘rejected justifying Israel’s actions against Palestinians as self-defense’ and called out ‘Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, war crimes and barbaric and inhumane massacres by the occupation government.’
Originally, only the 22 members of the Arab League were expected to participate, but the meeting was later expanded to include the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a wider association of 57 mostly Muslim-majority states to which the Arab League countries belong.’
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra is not too happy about the Summit outcomes. He said that ‘without consensus among the summit attendees, its outcomes are useless’.
“People do understand that the Israelis don’t really care about what is happening at this summit between the OIC and Arab League leaders. When you look at the communique you get a sense that the Arab and Muslim leaders do not have a mechanism to push a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor,” Ahelbarra said.
“This summit was just for the sake of a semblance of unity … in the Arab and Muslim world. It’s a watered-down statement. Not all Arab leaders decided to attend this summit because of the huge differences and divisions among the key players of the summit. That’s why they put this vaguely worded statement for public consumption,” he added.
The sectarian divide among the Muslim world and the elusive yearning of the Ummah, as it weaves and wafts through the labyrinthine maze of geopolitical interests and alignments, where realpolitik brutely pushes and shoves religious unity to the backseat. Religious ethos even by its own followers is further sub-divided on sectarian lines and behind them lurks the murky shadows of the universal vices that consume all human beings who are either ‘irreligious’ or ‘not truly secular’ – greed, lust, apathy and selfishness.
Dividing the world into monotheist theocratic states, where every religion seeks to have a homeland or more than one exclusive monotheistic theocratic states and then further sub-dividing on sectarian lines, or oppressing the weaker sects in a dystopian limbo, is a fatally flawed concept as any such state is created by destroying existing polytheistic societies where people of diverse faith and belief systems live harmoniously in different regions worldwide.
Around the world, both India and Palestine have shared this ethos before the British ‘divide and rule’ policy split them into three parts – 1948 creation of Zionist state of Israel that split Palestine into three parts and a year before 1947 creation of Islamic state of Pakistan that split India or Hindustan into three parts in a similar fashion. In case of India, West and East Pakistan were placed on two sides but as a single nation-state where as for Palestine, West Bank and Gaza were placed on two sides creating the Zionist state of Israel in the middle.
Such divisions on religious lines becomes a grave crises has been used by irreligious elements driven by greed, lust, apathy and selfishness (GLAS) to foment conflicts, genocides and destructive wars, like we are witnessing in Palestine, we need deeper dialog on how religious ethos of love, compassion, kindness, fairness and justice can be used to unite humanity and to channelise its collective energies for the well-being and betterment for all. This is reflected in this shloka from Vrihadaranyak Upanishad.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग् भवेत्।।
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः॥ – बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.4.14
This means that we pray for peace in the universe, peace in our hearts, and peace among them. May everyone be happy; Be free from all weaknesses; Let everyone see the good; Don’t let anyone share in the suffering.
In face of the deranged and dehumanising genocide of the people of Palestine over past one month and the historical backdrop of 75 years of Israeli occupation, the world today needs Muslim unity to stop Israel from genocide of the people of Palestine, all the more as both United Nations and India, with its traditional responsibility as Vishvaguru Bharat have failed in their responsibilities, by siding with the evil Zionist regime.
But how can Muslim unity further transform into global unity against the Zionist evil regime’s injustice and the pervasive injustice worldwide where mercenary irreligious criminal gangs hide?
Given the military strength of Israel, de facto the 51st state of the United States of America, we need world unity to win this war decisively and without escalating into the MADness of Mutually Assured Destruction.
This is possible only when instead of restricting itself to just the Muslim world of Islamic state and Muslims in other multi-religious countries, as the case has been so far, the Islamic Paradox is that can Muslim Unity rise and transcend its religious boundaries to embrace global unity that respects and honors every other religion and through deeper dialog finds the common and the higher ground of all religions – an ethos of truth and justice, love, compassion, kindness, fairness, equity and harmony with nature. This is the way we can restraint the irreligious elements from unleashing their universal vices – of greed, lust, apathy and selfishness, which ironically all true religions denounce and yet, it inadvertently manifests as ‘religious’ conflict.
India as a role model and a microcosm for ethno-federal vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future
India, with nearly a sixth of world population, has been seen so far as a global role model for ethno-federal democracy even as there is a further tremendous scope for improvement. As veteran journalist Prem Shankar Jha writes in The Wire here:
"At the moment, a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine seems impossible. But should a miracle occur, there is one example of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural federation that could be a model: the ethno-federal democracy of India.
“But should a miracle occur and a liberal government come to power in Israel, there is one example of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural federation that it could well use as a model for Israel and Palestine. This is the ethno-federal democracy of India."
India’s citizens belong to more than 2,000 ethnic groups, each with its own history, language and culture, who speak 22 major languages, and innumerable dialects. Its constitution has harmonised this through a multi-tier democratic system with elected village councils making up the bottom tier, through 28 elected state governments, with a single national government at its apex.
Its constitution, which is by far the longest in the world, reserves defence, foreign affairs, international trade and finance, and the framing of criminal and civil law, to the Central government and leaves land, agriculture, health, education, culture and the administration of law, to the state governments.
India is home to eight major religions of the world– Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Sikhism, and their many branches. Its constitution protects not only their customs but also their religious laws. Within this framework, all of its citizens enjoy complete equality and the same civic rights and protections.
India’s success in forging a peaceful nation out of such enormous diversity without resorting to war has been so complete that it barely draws the world’s attention any longer. But the construction of its complex democracy has been an ongoing process, that began 12 years before India became independent, in 1935 and is still a work in progress, 88 years later.
The 1935 constitution gave India a federal structure that was based upon the British political structures that already existed at the time when they built their empire. The 1948 constitution, followed by the linguistic reorganisation of state borders in 1957, created the federal, ethnicity-based ‘Union of States’ that India is today.
Israel and Palestine could, if they desired, merge to create a similar ethno-federal nation, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as its federating units, each with its own state capital and, if desired, its own official religion. Jerusalem, however, would be open to all the faiths of the country, and the world.’
The miracle of a liberal regime that will agree to a One State solution may not occur as my friend Oded Gilad, global peace activist and member of the Council of the World Federalist Movement based in Israel writes:
“As an Israeli citizen who is promoting the vision of a democratic world federation, I often encounter the following challenging question:
“Your country holds millions of Palestinians under military rule, oppression and discrimination; shouldn’t you struggle to bring about real democracy at your local level first, and only then talk about the global level?”
My honest reply is that to the best of my understanding, the lack of democracy and rule of law at the global level is, in fact, the most fundamental underlying cause of this conflict, and that therefore it must be addressed with the highest priority if we are serious about ending it.
To understand why, it is useful to consider the rationale of the Zionist movement, whose turn to Palestine ignited the conflict. With all due respect to the ancient longing of religious Jews to return to the biblical “promised land”, the main reason that so many (mostly secular) Jews turned to Zionism and immigrated to Palestine since the late 19th century, was the fact that as a minority in Europe they were too often prone to persecution and oppression. This experience led many of them believe the nationalist creed that only a nation-state of their own could guarantee their survival. Had there been – in the past or today – a world federation holding both the power and the democratic legitimacy to defend all humans in the world, it is unlikely that Zionism and many other national movements would have become so popular and powerful.

A world federation to defend all human beings

It is true that in a democratic world federation Israeli Jews would return to be just a small minority and would lack the legal sovereignty that they enjoy today. But that would not be a problem for them as rather than having to defend themselves they will be protected by the far stronger government that represents all humans. In such a world, all other religious, national or ethnic groupings would similarly turn into small minorities. When considering the nearly 8 billion of potential world citizens, we can see that even the largest groupings that we know – such as “Christians”, “Muslims”, “Chinese” or “Indian” – would be only large minorities: ~31%, ~24%, ~16%, ~15% respectively. And since these groupings are highly heterogeneous and divided internally, all people will belong to far smaller minorities, and that would be just fine.
Unlike nation-states, which by design are obsessed with maintaining a national majority in the country, in a global federation “the people” would be composed entirely of minorities. This inherent diversity of the population means that the only social contract that such a polity could be based on would be one that enshrines and protects the basic rights and freedoms of all people and their groups, through effective constitutional and institutional checks and balances and with a democratically elected world parliament at the center.
In such a federation, Jews and Palestinians alike will not be restricted from settling in any part of the Earth.
No land would belong exclusively to any group, and people would be free to live wherever they choose, as is customary within democratic federations.

The vision of a global welfare state

For those who fear that such global freedom of movement would open up the gates for a gigantic wave of global immigration from poor to rich countries, I would say that their fears are ill-founded. Just as national borders are indeed successful today at preventing such immigration, the divisions they create between national legal systems are even more successful at preventing national tax authorities from getting their hands on the wealth of the world’s super-rich. 
In a world federation, in contrast, whose tax authority would span every corner of the planet, there will be a gigantic wave of redistribution not only of political but also of financial power from the global super-rich to the global super-poor. In such a global “mixed economy” or “welfare state” the global poor will suddenly be able to make a decent living in local jobs, providing necessary services and infrastructures to their own communities. Having that option, it is clear that the vast majority will remain in their homelands with their loved ones, rather than tear themselves from their families, friends and cultures, as so many are forced to do today.

The question of priority

Coming back to the narrower question of Israel and Palestine, some people insist and rephrase their question as follows: “though a world federation is a noble vision to aspire to in the long run, they say, in the meantime the Palestinians are suffering enormously from atrocious injustices, and cannot wait for global democracy to emerge. The colonialist project of Zionism continues to deprive them of their basic human rights, in flagrant violation of international law, and it is our moral duty to help and protect them first.
To explain the flaws in that argument, it is useful to start with a simple analogy: imagine an armed group that bursts into a conference hall and takes all the attendants as hostages. In our domestic national systems, we know it would take much less than 50 minutes before the place would be surrounded with police cars and special forces coming to liberate the captives. Yet in our anarchic international system, Palestinians can live under occupation for well over 50 years and no police force are rushing to help them.

There is no global authority to protect people

The lesson of this analogy is that while our natural reaction to Israel’s occupation is to condemn Israel and Zionism, the more basic problem is with the international system, that has no real mechanisms for protecting victims and restoring justice. For this reason anyone who really cares for humans in general, and the Palestinians in particular, cannot ignore this aspect of the problem, or postpone it until after the conflict has been resolved. This systemic problem can be addressed and must be addressed as a precondition, or at least alongside any effort to find a local or particular solution. Yet today it is mostly ignored.
Whether one thinks that the conflict should end by dividing the land into two nation-states, or by turning it into one democratic state, one must recognize the necessity of an external authority equipped with sufficient force – and democratic legitimacy – to intervene when necessary to enforce such a solution, and protect it. In the current international order such authority does not exist and it will surely not just “emerge” if we continue to postpone the discussion about it.’
The Final Solution if we combine both these viewpoints from credible people is more likely in the form of Gaia Nation as a democratic, fair, transparent and effective alternative to the United Nations here and here.
Sanatan Dharma, in Arabic as Dee-e-Qayyum or the Eternal Religion, has traditionally been this common and higher ground. By this or any other name for which we can create a global consensus, this is our only and last hope, the Final Solution for humanity as a whole, to pull back from the jaws of annihilation as we keep hurtling towards extinction.
---
*Convenor, GAIA Earth Sansad

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