Turkey and the Middle East at the Crossroads March 7th (1999) Seminars (London, UK) Seventy-five years ago the foundations of modern Turkey and Middle East were forged. On 3 March, 1924, the Caliphate based in Istanbul was formally abolished, eradicating any way back from the Republic to which Ankara had committed herself to. Subsequently, all claims to authority of the former Islamic State over the various regions of the middle east; Hijaz, Egypt, Ash-sham etc were also formally dissolved. The beginning of a great new era was declared. Indeed, this dramatic transition did lead to a new era. However today, intellectuals and politicians the world over are questioning its greatness. Far from the progress which was anticipated, Turkey has declined horribly from her former glory. Time has shown that the Republic of Ankara was unable to match that which the Khilafah achieved. Today, Ankara knocks with nervous trepidation at the doors of European Economic Union. Yet with her economy in debt-ridden ruin, she is scorned upon as a beggar to a banquet. Yet, as the heart of the Khilafah, Europe was once for many centuries in the shadow of her wealth. She was the envy of the entire world as the furnaces of her industry warmed a vast territory - Dar ul-Islam - which embraced lands from Spain through the Middle East to India and Asia. Today, Turkish territory is threatened by attrition in the face of challenges from Greek expansionism and Kurdish nationalism. Yet, Istanbul once stood in command of a military which ever expanded her territories, in a day when even Europe began to succumb to her authority. The Khilafah once resolutely maintained the integrity of these Islamic Lands. Lands that were carved into a myriad of ineffectual regimes as per the Sykes-Picot (British-French) agreement of 1916 to carve between them the spoils of WWI . Lands populated by a people craving a semblance of prior unity and strength. In a similar fashion the fate of the Middle East has been no more successful than that of Turkey. The separation of Islam from temporal matters and the embracing of nationalism and capitalism has been an utter failure on every imaginable level. The vision of the Arab nationalists to build a strong independent community of Arab countries, which would not depend on the west, could not have been more unfulfilled. Militarily, Palestine has been surrendered to the Jews and remains firmly under their control while Iraq remains violently emaciated by the US. Economically, the failures in Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and most recently Saudi Arabia prove that the existing regimes are astonishingly incompetent in the management of their people's affairs. Further it proves that even the oil producing nations in the Middle East are not exempt from suffering and eventual demise. Politically, Arab Unity under secularism has been wholly ineffective and remains an unrealised, unworkable, romantic philosophy, making it difficult to describe the current regimes as little more than caretakers or janitors for the Europeans and Americans. All of this is in stark contrast to the situation when all of these countries were united under the ideological bond of Islam with the political leadership, the Khilafah, based solely on the Islamic Aqeedah and also in harmony with the deep rooted Islamic sentiments of the Muslim population. During the era of the Islamic state the Muslims defended their lands heroically, expanded their boundaries of the Khilafah through Jihad, propagated Islam to non-Muslims through challenging their false beliefs and concepts intellectually, Ruled exclusively by what Allah Ta'ala has revealed, extended their hands to pledge allegiance (bayah) to one Khaleefah for all the Muslims globally, obeyed him and fought under his leadership in the way of Allah until the Muslims were the undisputed leading nation in the world, both respected and feared by the disbelievers. Hence all over the Islamic Lands, not just Turkey and the Middle East, a political debate has raged which few have ignored. Turkish secularists, Arab nationalists, Islamists and Islamic revivalists all proffer opinions as regards to the relative merits of the Khilafah and the Republic. Currently we are offered a plethora of solutions and directions to assist us out of our current declined situation; European integration, democratisation, economic reform, technological & military advancement, human rights, population control, nationalism, religious tolerance.unification of Muslim lands under a single Islamic Khilafah state Can Arabs and Turks ever unify politically under a single ruler?. Members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir have furnished an opportunity to participate in this all important debate. They aim to show that what once was, can be again. They aim to put forward a strong case for Islam and the re-establishment of the Khilafah State, as the only means to break the cycle of failure, to revive the region and to restore this dignified Ummah to its rightful place. Turkey and the Middle East are indeed at a crossroads, our future depends on the direction we now take. "And obey Allah and his Messenger and do not dispute amongst yourselves, lest you lose heart and your power depart and be patient and persevering for Allah is with those who persevere patiently" [Surah Anfaal: 46] "Turkey and the Middle East at the Crossroads" A series of short seminars to be delivered by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir for Internet broadcast (audio and video) on www.khilafah.com Sunday 7 March 1999, from 14.00hrs (GMT) Those wishing to attend the event in person in London, UK - (on the day) please e-mail a request for tickets to Seminar Tickets to naghda@hotmail.com
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