Since the attempts have been made to internalize democracy, ensure human rights and protect individual liberty, these have made töhe middle east a venue which can host multiple stakeholders fighting for their vested interests in the power matrix of the region. This tug of war has descended the region into an unsatiable chaos and mounting fear. There has been a great contempt of fundamental rights and individual liberties. In this game of musical chair for power, irrational and short sighted interests of all the stakeholders have undermined the progressive faculties to grow in the region.
The fundamental causation of rivalry is more of ideological than of physical or territorial. In the contest of ideas, democracy, authoritarianism, nationalist and radical political islam are few which aims at capturing the centre stage of political arena. The past decade witnesses that none of them has compromised willingly on a common agenda. Ideas, beliefs, values, cultures and worldviews are different and hostile generally toward each other. These differences are interpreted subjectively by the states which lead to the a widespread hatred and insecurity from each other. Some biological, psychological, economic and political causes of this conflict assures one thing that this power race would not end unless one accepts the authority of the other or share the same might as its enemy. Ideologically speaking, Iran, Saudi Arabia and ISIS claim power on the religious connotation and interpretation, while Russia and United States have their traditional claims of democracy and communism. Logically, both Iran and Saudi Arabia disregard the version of Islam claimed by ISIS and alikes.
But, paradoxically, due to their internal sectarian tendencies, there seems remote chances that both will come to a point of common agreement. However, given the intensity of catastrophic and deadly events and changing power dynamics due to the multiplicity of the issues, both have to come to some similarities and need to accept each other with some differences. The primary target should be a united front against ISIS, a monster which has made the entire region a security threat in particular and world in general. Many of the historians and researches argue that middle east has great significance in the quest for global peace and collective security. It has numerous ideological, territorial, economic, political and social fault lines which can only be transformed into a stream of progressive impulses that resists evil passions of anarchy. This requires a channelized and integrated response on behalf of all concerned stakeholders. ¨Peace must be planned and organized as realistically as war- with provision for every factor and provision for every detail¨, says Will Durant. It will surely bring a lot more positive, progressive and most importantly humanitarian to the suffering people of the region.
Yet political Islam is also, for now, a driving force in the new order. “Without Islam, we will not have any real progress,” explained Diaa Rashwan of Cairo’s Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.”If we go back to the European Renaissance, it was based on Greek and Roman philosophy and heritage. When Western countries built their own progress, they didn’t go out of their epistemological or cultural history.
Japan is still living in the culture of the Samurai, but in a modern way. The Chinese are still living the traditions created by Confucianism. Their version of communism is certainly not Russian. “So why,” he mused, “do we have to go out of our history?” The most dynamic new political players are Salafi groups, which have increased across the region in the twenty-first century, particularly after the Arab uprisings. Salafi groups account for the second largest number of Islamist groups in the Arab world.
They have traditionally renounced a role in politics, even tolerating autocratic leaders as long as they were Muslim. The roots of Shiite-Sunni tensions in the Gulf are more complex and ultimately more local. They are deeply woven into the political fabric of individual states. Sectarian identities have been further sharpened by uneven access to political and economic capital, official and quasi-official discrimination, and the absence of truly inclusive governing structures. This is true in virtually every field: government bureaucracies, the security sector, the labor market, clerical establishments, the legal system, provincial development and so on. The current sectarian tensions in the Gulf are not prompting a fundamental shift in the regional map. Historically, sectarian affinities were one set of identities that co-existed alongside other affiliations: national, ethnic, tribal/familial, local, urban, generational, and so forth.
Consider the spread of extremism. Through its actions in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has demonstrated that state borders cannot contain organizations, movements, and ideas that operate on a pan-regional arena. ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s declaration of the return of the Caliphate, with himself as Caliph, for “all Muslims everywhere” highlights his regional orientation.
Baghdadi’s vision of one united Muslim World taps into an undercurrent of pan-regional communal affiliations and aspirations, the same undercurrent that, in a different fashion, fueled the rise of former Egyptian president Jamal Abdel Nasser and the Pan-Arab Nationalist movement in the 1950s