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Pan-Islamism (Arabic: الوحدة الإسلامية‎) is a political ideology advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic country or state – often a caliphate – or an international organization with Islamic principles. Pan-Islamism_sentence_0

As a form of internationalism and anti-nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by seeing the ummah (Muslim community) as the focus of allegiance and mobilization, excluding ethnicity and race as primary unifying factors. Pan-Islamism_sentence_1

It portrays Islam as being anti-racist and against anything that divides Muslims based on ethnicity. Pan-Islamism_sentence_2

History Pan-Islamism_section_0

The Arabic term Ummah, which is found in the Quran and Islamic tradition, however was historically used to denote the Muslim nation altogether, surpassing race, ethnicity etc. and this term has been used in a political sense by classical Islamic scholars e.g. such as al-Mawardi in Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, where he discusses the contract of Imamate of the Ummah, "prescribed to succeed Prophethood" in protection of the religion and of managing the affairs of the world. Pan-Islamism_sentence_3

Al-Ghazali also talks about Ummah in a political sense e.g. in his work, "Fadiah al-Batinyah wa Fadail al-Mustazhariyah". Pan-Islamism_sentence_4

Fakhruddin al-Razi, who also talks about Ummah in a political sense, is quoted as saying the following: Pan-Islamism_sentence_5

According to some scholars, the ideology's aims takes early years of Islam – the reign of Muhammad and the early caliphate – especially during Islamic golden age as its model, as it is commonly held that during these years the Muslim world was strong, unified, and free from corruption. Pan-Islamism_sentence_6

Critics argue that pan-Islamism was later seen to be observed by Islamic Iberia, Emirate of Sicily, the states Age of the Islamic Gunpowders and several Muslim sultanates and kingdoms, despite the presence and employment of non-Muslim subjects by Muslim powers. Pan-Islamism_sentence_7

In the modern era, Pan-Islamism was championed by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who sought unity among Muslims to resist colonial occupation of Muslim lands. Pan-Islamism_sentence_8

Afghani feared that nationalism would divide the Muslim world and believed that Muslim unity was more important than ethnic identity. Pan-Islamism_sentence_9

Although sometimes described as "liberal", al-Afghani did not advocate constitutional government but simply envisioned “the overthrow of individual rulers who were lax or subservient to foreigners, and their replacement by strong and patriotic men.” In a review of the theoretical articles of his Paris-based newspaper there was nothing "favoring political democracy or parliamentarianism,” according to his biographer. Pan-Islamism_sentence_10

Pan-Islamism in the post-colonial world was strongly associated with Islamism. Pan-Islamism_sentence_11

Leading Islamists such as Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, and Ayatollah Khomeini all stressed their belief that a return to traditional Sharia law would make Islam united and strong again. Pan-Islamism_sentence_12

Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites. Pan-Islamism_sentence_13

From their essentially political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims. Pan-Islamism_sentence_14

The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death. Pan-Islamism_sentence_15

In the period of decolonialism following World War II, Arab nationalism overshadowed Islamism which denounced nationalism as un-Islamic. Pan-Islamism_sentence_16

In the Arab world secular pan-Arab parties – Baath and Nasserist parties – had offshoots in almost every Arab country, and took power in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Pan-Islamism_sentence_17

Islamists suffered severe repression; its major thinker Sayyid Qutb, was imprisoned, underwent torture and was later executed. Pan-Islamism_sentence_18

Egyptian president Nasser saw the idea of Muslim unity as a threat to Arab nationalism. Pan-Islamism_sentence_19

In the 1950s, Pakistan's government aggressively campaigned to encourage unity amongst Muslims and cooperation between Muslim states. Pan-Islamism_sentence_20

But the response of most Muslim countries to these Pakistani endeavors were not encouraging. Pan-Islamism_sentence_21

Pakistani leaders, experienced in the intensity of Hindu-Muslim conflict in South Asia during the Pakistan Movement, had believed in the righteousness of their cause and while enthusiastically projecting Islam into foreign policy they failed to understand that Islam did not play the same role in the nationalist programs of most Middle Eastern states. Pan-Islamism_sentence_22

Many Muslim countries suspected that Pakistan was aspiring to leadership of the Muslim world. Pan-Islamism_sentence_23

Following the defeat of Arab armies in the Six-Day War, Islamism and Pan-Islam began to reverse their relative position of popularity with nationalism and pan-Arabism. Pan-Islamism_sentence_24

Political events in the Muslim world in the late 1960s convinced many Muslim states to shift their earlier ideas and respond favourably to Pakistan's goal of Muslim unity. Pan-Islamism_sentence_25

Nasser abandoned his opposition to a pan-Islamic platform and such developments facilitated the first summit conference of Muslim heads of state in Rabat in 1969. Pan-Islamism_sentence_26

This conference was eventually transformed into a permanent body called Organisation of Islamic Conference. Pan-Islamism_sentence_27

In 1979 the Iranian Revolution ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from power, and ten years later the Afghan Muslim mujahideen, with major support from the United States, successfully forced the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. Pan-Islamism_sentence_28

Pan-Islamic Sunni Muslims such as Maududi and the Muslim Brotherhood, embraced the creation of a new caliphate, at least as a long-term project. Pan-Islamism_sentence_29

Shia leader Ruhollah Khomeini also embraced a united Islamic supra-state but saw it led by a (Shia) religious scholar of fiqh (a faqih). Pan-Islamism_sentence_30

These events galvanised Islamists the world over and heightened their popularity with the Muslim public. Pan-Islamism_sentence_31

Throughout the Middle-East, and in particular Egypt, the various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood have significantly challenged the secular nationalist or monarchical Muslim governments. Pan-Islamism_sentence_32

In Pakistan the Jamaat-e-Islami enjoyed popular support especially since the formation of the MMA, and in Algeria the FIS was expected to win the cancelled elections in 1992. Pan-Islamism_sentence_33

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Hizb-ut-Tahrir has emerged as a Pan-Islamist force in Central Asia and in the last five years has developed some support from the Arab world. Pan-Islamism_sentence_34

A recent advocate for Pan-Islamism was late Turkish prime minister and founder of Millî Görüş movement Necmettin Erbakan, who championed the Pan-Islamic Union (İslam Birliği) idea and took steps in his government toward that goal by establishing the Developing 8 Countries (or D8, as opposed to G8) in 1996 with Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Pan-Islamism_sentence_35

His vision was gradual unity of Muslim nations through economic and technologic collaboration similar to the EU with a single monetary unit (İslam Dinarı), joint aerospace and defense projects, petrochemical technology development, regional civil aviation network and a gradual agreement to democratic values. Pan-Islamism_sentence_36

Although the organization met at presidential and cabinet levels and moderate collaboration projects continue to date, the momentum was instantly lost when the so-called Post-Modern Coup of February 28, 1997, eventually took down Erbakan's government. Pan-Islamism_sentence_37

See also Pan-Islamism_section_1


International organisations: Pan-Islamism_sentence_38


History: Pan-Islamism_sentence_39


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