Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What on earth did I mean by Pax Islam

I had mentioned "pax Islam" in the context of various multi-country groupings or organisations, that I felt would compete yet coexist with UN, NATO, EU etc. in the near future until the next world war in a few centuries time. When the new Afghani constitution was first posted in english on the net, I had a quick read to see what they had to say about separation of "church" and state. Not unexpectedly, the very first line states that no law under the constitution is to be contrary to the law of Islam. That got me thinking that the Iraqi constitution is bound to have something similar, and that therefore three adjacent countries would have national laws under the overall umbrella of Islam - caliphate style (Of course without the "Caliph" for the moment). Of course, Mohammed would be the ultimate interpreter of the scriptures as to how they apply in the modern world, but he's dead. Without a central governing structure to Islam, this makes for a difficult balance of power between various religious officials and elected politicians, but perhaps time will tell whether that will matter. I don't see much chance of anything much like US's evolution of churches, given that religious freedoms are restricted, and Imam's get a say in public policy somewhat.

4 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

The book I'm reading at the moment suggests that the Caliphate was a post-Quranic making-it-up-as-you-go-along move and that Islam is uniquely suited to democratic forms of government because of its emphasis on the equality of all men before God. The early acceptance of the Caliphate by Islamic thinkers seems to have been grudging at best.
I would like to know more about what UBL et al. really mean when they talk about restoring the Caliphate, but haven't been game to go looking in cyberspace because of the whole "Death to Freedom of Speech!" movement our elected representatives have got going.
I have also been thinking about this problem: if you did want to restore the Caliphate, how could you possibly go about it? The best option, I think, would be to convert Prince Harry, who is supposed to be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, and will be head of the Commonwealth, which already contains a large number of Muslim countries.

Marco said...

I don't think that will be necessary at all. Start with Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is possible that Iran's mullahs may eventually stand back a little from governing and those three countries sign a treaty of some kind giving a seed for a grouping of democratic "government law under Islamic umbrella" countries. Other emerging nearby islamic democracies will want to join such a grouping, giving it a momentum of growth. In the long run, the treaty will allow for some Islam based multi country institution, which like a caliph would decide on certain religious matters. If it is exceedingly successful, even European countries will give up the EU and join the Islamic free trade zone instead.

Dr. Clam said...

Yes, in my opinion an Iranian-style Islamic republic in Iraq would be a very great improvement on pseudo-marxist totalitarianism. Iran really has been the big winner from the War on Terror so far, having had its most implacable enemy and the world's largest refugee crisis removed from its borders at no cost to itself.
You must remember that for the Wahabbi extremist types to submit to Shi'i rule would be like Ian Paisley bowing down to the Pope in a United Christendom, so I don't think Afghanistan is likely to be included in such a federation, unless Pashtunistan can be sloughed off. Further afield, Lebanon is almost ready for Shi'i majority rule, and it would probably be easy for sympathetic Shi'i generals to hijack Syria and Pakistan from the top, since they are functioning states. Then all you need is a Shi'i uprising on the Sa'udi side of the Persian Gulf where they are in the majority to put the world's largest oil reserves in the hand of the Federation, and you're laughing! You should run your ideas past Mr Ahmadinejad.

Marco said...

This is my rough outline of order of significant events.
1) Presidents of democratic Iraq and Afghanistan sign a "peace and co-operation" agreement.
2) Popular revolt in Iran overthrows the council of clerics - a new constitution is drafted and voted for in a referendum - replacing Shi ite doctrine with more generalised mandate to not make laws contrary to Islam.
3) Syria becomes democratic in a process which involves incalculable casualties.
4) Iran's new president signs on its country to the "peace and co-operation" treaty, and gives it a name - say "Islam peace and free trade treaty"
5) Saudi Arabian royal family, under pressure from their population, re-writes constitution to allow democratic progress, then step down as supreme leaders.