The global political and economic order is undergoing rapid change. The old order, imposed by the victors of the Second World War, is withering away because of its inbuilt inequities. It is surprising that it lasted so long. The oppression it has imposed on the rest of the world is no longer tenable. Instead, a new multipolar world order is emerging.
The contours of this new global world order are clear. While the US is in terminal decline—its last rites will be performed once the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency—the rapidly evolving situation affords great opportunities for Muslims to take their rightful place in the world.
Under the weight of western propaganda and with large parts of the Muslim world ruled by people suffering from mental slavery, this new reality may not be immediately apparent to most Muslims. That however does not change the ground reality.
At present, Russia and China appear to be the leading challengers to the US-led decrepit world order but this is a partial reading of the situation. It is based on looking at the challenge to US unilateralism through the military and economic lens. The war in Ukraine as well as US belligerence in the South China Sea reinforce this perception. In both instances, the US is involved, directly or indirectly, to undermine Russia and China.
Washington’s unilateralism was at work even prior to the Second World War. The American CIA has carried out coups in a number of countries overthrowing leaders that were considered not sufficiently deferential to US diktats. Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Vietnam (1963), Indonesia (1966), Chile (1973) and Nicaragua (1979-1990) immediately come to mind.
The CIA has not abandoned its criminal activities even if the US has suffered successive military defeats at the hands of much weaker players. The most recent example of this was the American defeat in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban. It is incredible that the self-proclaimed superpower with the largest military budget in the world by far should be so thoroughly defeated by a rag tag band of Afghan tribesmen.
Even more impressive has been Iran’s survival for more than 40 years despite the campaigns of sabotage, assassinations, sanctions and a brutal eight-year imposed war. Iran’s resilience has inspired others in distant parts of the world. Both Cuba and Venezuela fall in this category although regrettably, few Muslim governments have followed suit.
Instead, Islamic movements have been inspired by Iran’s Islamic revolution and scored impressive victories despite the enormous odds they have faced. The Hizbullah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine as well as the Ansar-Allah movement in Yemen have all shown what can be achieved if the leadership is sincere and committed to the goals and principles of Islam.
This background information is necessary in order to put the current reality in its proper perspective. The dominant narrative is that Russia and China are leading the challenge to US hegemony. This cannot be denied but it appears unlikely that the US would ever engage the two in direct military conflict. The degree of damage the US would suffer on its own territory would be incalculable.
Washington’s record since the Second World War shows it only picks on adversaries it believes are weak and can be overwhelmed militarily. Even so, the US has not fought any adversary alone. It has always lined up NATO armies, like a pack of wolves, to attack a target country. Despite this, their record is dismal.
While the US is entangled with Russia and China both militarily and economically, it cannot utilize its mischief-making resources elsewhere. This is an opportunity for the Islamic movement as well as the Resistance Front—essentially one and the same—to move ahead boldly.
The Seerah of the noble messenger (pbuh) offers important lessons. Upon arrival in Madinah, the noble messenger (pbuh) and the Muhajiroon from Makkah were welcomed by the Ansar. There were also the Umiyyun of Madinah (non-Muslim Arab residents) and the Bani Israel. There also emerged another group—the munafiqoon—the most dangerous and destructive lot that had no loyalty to Islam or the Prophet (pbuh). Their commitment was only to their personal interests. On the peripheries of the Arabian Peninsula were the two superpowers of the time: the Roman and Persian Empires.
Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran faces a similar situation. It has friends and allies that can be categorized as the Muhajiroon and Ansar. Then there are the munafiqoon both within and outside. The internal munafiqoon are the Iranian nationalists who have little or no commitment to Islam. The external munafiqs are the rulers in most Arabian countries who have even struck alliances with the imperialists and zionists.
As leader of the Resistance Front, the Islamic Republic has to carefully evaluate how its proceeds, together with its allies, in confronting the enemies of Islam. It is clear that the imperialists and zionists and their European allies are the mortal enemies of Islam and Muslims. They have inflicted immense suffering on Muslims worldwide. Their aggression must be confronted with a united strategy.
There is another lesson that can be drawn from the Seerah of the noble messenger (pbuh). In the immediate environs, the early Muslims faced the Makkan mushriks as well as the Bani Israel in their stronghold of Khyber in north Arabia. The noble messenger (pbuh) neutralized the Makkan mushriks by entering into the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in the sixth year of the hijrah. This freed him to deal with the troublesome Bani Israel tribes in Khyber. It was the Makkan mushriks who violated the terms of the treaty that led to the Prophet (pbuh) marching on Makkah to liberate it from their clutches.
The noble messenger (pbuh) and his companions subdued their enemies not by wholesale slaughter as is the wont of the imperialists and zionists, but by their superior values. Following the liberation of Makkah, the noble messenger (pbuh) could have ordered the slaughter of all his enemies. He did not. Instead, he told them that they were free to go (the word the noble messenger (pbuh) used was ‘tulaqa’).
These were people that had not only waged successive battles against the Muslims but had also indulged in gruesome acts of torture before the Muslims’ migration from Makkah as well as the mutilation of the bodies of their victims. Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle, was a clear example of the jahili practices indulged in by the Makkan mushriks.
Unlike the Prophet’s time when battles were waged with swords and spears, today there are lethal weapons in the possession of the enemies of Islam and humanity. They not only possess guns and tanks but also missiles, drones and nuclear and biological weapons. The use of some of these weapons can wipe out entire populations.
That however should not cause fear among committed Muslims. Their greatest weapons are Imaan (faith-commitment) and eagerness to achieve shahada (martyrdom). These will enable them to overcome the great odds they face in shortage of lethal weapons. History shows that preponderance of weapons has never been the decisive factor in any battle; commitment has been.
And once the committed Muslims have defeated the imperialists and zionists in battle, they can show the superior values of Islam by being magnanimous. This will attract billions of people to the fold of Islam as it did in early Islamic history with the success of the Prophet (pbuh). This is confirmed by the Qur’anic surah Al-Nasr (surah no:110).