The Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Mahathir ’s visit to Turkey last week was marked by a discussion of the development of not only bilateral relations of these countries, but also the problems and prospects of the entire Islamic Ummah.
The next program speech on this topic was made by Mahathir (here is a video in English)
In his speech, he stopped not only on topical issues. In particular, he stressed that Malaysia and Turkey are looking in the same direction, mentioning Palestine as an important illustration of this commonality of views. Recall that Mahathir repeatedly spoke with tough anti-Zionist speeches, for which the enemies have long labeled him an “anti-Semite.” In addition, he said that the cause of the problem of terrorism is the depression of the groups that resort to it, and therefore it cannot be solved only by force.
Further, the Malay leader turned to the problems of the entire Ummah. “Once there was a great Islamic civilization. Today, unfortunately, we cannot claim to be a great civilization. We are all oppressed. And many of our countries cannot even establish governments for themselves. We need to understand where the turning was the moment of this decline of Islamic civilization. If we can understand what was the reason, perhaps we can understand how to restore the great Islamic civilization that will one day surprise the whole world, “he said.
For many, this statement by Mahathir sounded like a sensation, but we recall that he made similar statements earlier, in particular, in his sensational speech in 2003 in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In it, in addition to stating the struggle being waged against international Zionism against the Islamic world, he drew attention to the need for Muslims to seize worldly scientific knowledge and advanced technologies, develop their countries and consolidate efforts over internal theological differences.
However, during the last speech Mahathir in Turkey sounded more specifics. In particular, referring to the fact that only developed Muslim countries can be the driving force for the revival of the Islamic world, he repeatedly stressed the need for close cooperation in all spheres of Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan .
Indeed, if you look at the map, these three countries can be the ideological and civilizational leaders of the Muslim parts of the three macro-regions: Malaysia – Southeast Asia, Pakistan – the southern and central parts, and Turkey – a large Ottoman space, covering both Asia Minor and and the Turkic part of the central, the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Balkans.
It is unlikely that Mahathir was withdrawn, on the one hand, by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates , on the one hand, and Iran , outside the brackets of this axis of the revival of Islamic civilization . Their unsuitability for this role has long been obvious, but will the three countries that Mahathir listed cope with that grandiose, truly epoch-making historical task of reviving Islamic civilization?
I would like to believe in it, but words can’t be limited here. Indicative in this sense is the question posed by the Malay leader by his young compatriot journalist about concrete measures to be taken to protect Muslim minorities, such as the Uighurs, and Mahathir’s answer. He quite correctly remarked that it was easy to make statements, but effective actions were needed, stressing once again that cooperation between Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan could contribute to them.
Well, at one time, the cooperation of post-war Germany and France became the foundation on which later the unfinished, but still united Europe building was erected. However, for this they needed to go beyond bilateral relations, start a supranational integration process and invite other European countries to join it.
Will Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia be able to launch a similar process? Or everyone will remain for himself, and all the talk about Islamic unity will remain a talk?