Defining Arabian Unity: Pan-Islamism and Pan-Arabism
Pan-Islamism refers to the political wing in the Middle East that advances the rights and needs of all Muslims within an Islamic state, which is often termed as a caliphate. The organization holds the statuses of other similar groups such as the NATO and have often have Sharia laws to dictate their operations (“Arab Unity” 163.) This form of organization is religious in nature and always has a variety of differences as well as similarities with the other nationalist ideologies such as the pan Arabism. Pan-Arabism advances for the unification of countries found within North African countries as well as western Asia ranging from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the greater Arabian Sea. This paper examines certain differences between pan-Islamism as well as pan Arabism as expounded by scholars.
Pan-Islamism first creates a distinction with pan Arabism by the mere exclusion of culture as well as identity as critical tenets of unification. In essence, while the pan Arabism tries to focus on the unification process based on the cultural backgrounds of the various countries in North Africa and the Arabian Asia, pan Islamism tries to embody religious attire through the strict adherence of Islamic laws and statutes. Pan Arabism, on the other hand focuses on the creation of a strong block that can oppose the policies and advances of the western countries within the Asian world. In this regard, they try to work on their own economic policies as well as unifying factors such as languages of communication, which determine the essence of one nation with immense influence.
For decades after the major world wars, the need to unite has been a contentious issue with various areas of association pegging the question of unity and a possible aversion to a second colonization. The politics of the world has majorly dwelt on striking unions and alliances that can enhance the interests of the greater and “higher order” countries (Landau 21). Looking at the UN for instance, the pan Arabism has been instrumental in enhancing a power block in passing crucial decisions that affect the welfare of Arabian states. The unification has also enhanced a greater element of integration, especially when the world bears the irreversible spread of western influence. For instance, English and French have been on a fast spread over the world, quickly displacing other local languages. However, due to the Arabian influence, the Arabic language has also managed to remain strong and ever growing. The Pan-Islamism on the other hand has been a strong element of Muslim faith as norms and tradition in the faith are held with the custody of the organization. The movement has been a major proponent of Islamist political drivers as well as acculturation processes. Examples of such acculturations exist within new institutions of Islamic banks as well as schools that have orientations towards the Islamic culture and religion (Landau 23).
In conclusion, the two groups, the movement and ideology, have been instrumental and impactful in enhancing the development of Arabic nationalities. From the paper, it emerges that both organizations are unification oriented and have managed to create a symbol of identity and motivation among the Arabic people regardless of culture, identity, or religion. In essence, the duo has been a major factor in preserving the relic and monuments of the Islamic faith with respect to culture and traditions from Allah.
“Arab Unity.” The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed.Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002. pp. 160–166.
Landau, Jacob M. The Politics of Pan-Islam: Ideology and Organization. Clarendon Press, Oxford. (1990). ISBN 0-19-827709-1.