The Islamic world covers a huge geographic area populated by about 1.5 billion Muslims. In this book we will explain how it is a matter of urgency to bring about a Turkish Islamic Union.
One of the first things we notice when analyzing the state of the Islamic world is its many internal divisions due to deep-rooted distrust and disputes. Recent history has seen the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, and East Pakistan's (Bangladesh) war of independence from West Pakistan. The civil wars and internal conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria due to political and ethnic differences made it obvious that something is wrong with the Islamic world. In addition, very divergent religious views and models are being practiced in the Islamic world, because there is no central authority to determine what is and what is not compatible with Islam, establish consensus, and provide guidance to the general public. Catholics have the Vatican and Orthodox Christians have the Patriarchate, but there is no religious unity or central authority for Muslims.
However, solidarity is central to Islam's character. After the death of our Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Islamic world always had a leader, which institution provided religious guidance to the Muslims.
In our day, too, a progressive central authority could be formed. Establishing a Turkish-Islamic Union and a central Islamic authority, based on democratic principles and the rule of law, would be major steps forward in resolving the Islamic world's current problems.
As we progress through this book, we will analyze several aspects of this proposed Turkish-Islamic Union, such as its ability to:
1- Possess a conception based on the love, affection, brotherhood and compassion required by the moral values of the Qur'an, aim to watch over and protect everyone and provide a high quality and prosperous standard of living to all.
2- Have a democratic and laic nature and construct a union of hearts that maintains the unitary structure of all states in bringing the Turkish-Islamic world together under a spiritual leadership.
3- Reach all of the Islamic world. Therefore, it must be founded upon Islam's core principles and not become the organ of a particular denomination or sect.
4- Support human rights, democracy, and free enterprise, and seek to achieve its mission of economic, cultural, and scientific development in the Islamic world.
5- Establish friendly and harmonious relations with other countries or civilizations, and cooperate with the global community and the UN on such issues as controlling weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, international crime, and the environment.
6- Deal with the minority rights of Christians and Jews, as well as foreigners who migrate to Islamic countries, consider their safety a priority, and approach people of all faiths and ideas with love and compassion.
7- Seek fair and peaceful solutions to end conflicts between the non-Muslims and Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, the southern Philippines, and other regions. It must defend the rights of Muslims as well as prevent radical Islamic movements from driving the situation to into a dead-end.
Such a rational, considered, and just leadership will benefit the 1.5 billion Muslims who are struggling with so many problems, as well as all humanity at large. A Turkish-Islamic Union founded upon Qur'anic principles will enable humanity to find peace and justice, and the good character prescribed by the Qur'an will deliver happiness. Since the era of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Muslims led the way in science, reason, thought, art, culture, and civilization, and produced many benefits for humanity.
When Europe was in its dark ages, Muslims taught the world science, reasoning, medicine, art, hygiene, and countless other subjects. In order to restart the rise of Islam, powered by the Qur'an's light and wisdom, present-day Muslims have to acquire guidance based on the Qur'an's morality and the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Sunnah (His example, or way of life).
How can this project be realized? We will investigate this issue as we proceed. Also, it must be remembered here once again that, as stated earlier, out of all Turkic Islamic nations, Turkey in particular has an important role to play. As a consequence of its historical and sociological infrastructure and as imparted by our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the hadith, Turkey will undertake very important responsibilities in the End Times we are living in. Heading the list of these important responsibilities is playing a leading role in the unification of the Turkish-Islamic world. It should also be remembered that Turkey is the heir of the Ottoman Empire, the founder of such a Turkish Islamic Union which it ruled successfully for over 5 centuries. Turkey has the social infrastructure and state tradition necessary to fulfill the requirements of this important responsibility. Furthermore, of all Muslim states, it has the best-developed relations with the West and is therefore ideally placed to mediate the differences between the West and the Islamic world. Turkey also has a tradition of compassion and harmony, and represents the Ahl as-Sunnah belief as the majority of Muslims believe. All of this makes Turkey the most qualified candidate for leading the envisaged Turkish Islamic Union.
Finally, the solutions proposed here need to be implemented immediately, because certain circles increasingly try to provoke a clash of civilizations between the Western and Islamic worlds. Setting up the Turkish Islamic Union will cause this danger to disappear.
History proves that the coexistence of different civilizations is in fact a most pleasant wealth and blessing. A multicultural state does not experience difficulties because of existing internal differences, but because of its inability to manage those differences. Different cultures that exist side by side choose either conflict or peace and cooperation, depending upon their existing levels of compassion and whether they can or cannot control those factors leading to radicalism and hardness. At present, there may be some Westerners and Muslims who prefer hostility and conflict over compassion and harmony. Thus, misunderstandings and prejudices against Islam and the Muslims continue to present certain difficulties. On the other hand, Westerners feel unnecessarily threatened because of various misunderstandings. Therefore, a solution to these problems is needed urgently to avoid even worse conflicts and misunderstandings.
As this book will reveal, the Turkish Islamic Union will play an important role in preventing the escalating risk of conflict, for all Islamic countries will move together as one body.