Political Observation - Clarification on Perceiving the Reality of States
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Political Observation - Clarification on Perceiving the Reality of States
Based on previous political observations and discussions that have taken place on the reality of states and their international and regional relationships, it is imperative to clarify some of the necessary steps for those pursuing political events in order to perceive them and pass judgement on them in the closest manner possible to soundness, especially for the Muslim politician who perceives the significance of understanding political events and realities as they are linked to the issues and the fate of the Ummah.
1 - The Dynamics of Political Concepts:
It is not possible to perceive politics by merely reading the intentions and statements in isolation of the actions that denote them, if these existed of course. Politics in essence is actions rather than words, statements and declarations. This is the golden rule of perceiving politics and political actions.
Political actions are perceived from the chronology of the current events that precede an event even if it were months or weeks and not just a few days or hours. This is why it is important to pursue the news in order to discern the reality of political actions and the track of their progress because this would be the critical point in either assenting to the political statements once they conform to the actions and plans or rejecting them once it is established that they are deceptive or merely empty rhetoric.
As for the political concepts that determine for us the method of understanding current events, it is worth reviewing them from time to time, especially the concepts related to plans and styles as they are subject to readjustment, alteration or dissolution, especially when those plans and styles encounter impediments in execution. Moreover, and this is what most of us tend to overlook, although political concepts act as the tool with which we discern and link political events, they however are not the basis from which we initially perceive the unfolding events once we have pursued their locations, actors, aims and chronologies.
In other words, it would be wrong to proceed in perceiving current events from the angle of political concepts which often get projected onto the event irrespective of their conformity with the event itself. This action is very much like casting prejudgements when assessing matters. For instance, if a ruler has been helped by the Americans to accede to power and has become affiliated to America, it would be wrong to continue, without any scrutiny or investigation, judging his repeated standpoints that clearly contradict US policy and proceed far away from it, once deception and political manoeuvring have been ruled out, as being in the service of US policy. Such a narrative leads to deviating the opinion or judgement away from the truth or soundness. Consequently, political analysis turns into wishful thinking rather than an accurate description of what really lies behind the events in terms of international, regional or domestic plans.
A political concept is a common denotation of a repeated group of events characterised by consistency and stability; and by interpreting such events, we deduce a collective notion to which we give the attribute of concept because of its conformity to current events. And as long as current events conform to that concept, we continue to use it. However, if that political concept begins to wane or change due to its disconnection with current events, it would be wrong to adhere to it thereafter since it has lost its credibility vis-à-vis the current events.
It would be also very precarious to political perception to overlook the political events and realities that do not express or reflect what we hold in terms of political perceptions just for the sake of clinging on to that concept in our minds, which in fact has turned into a notion that may be sound in terms of judging past events but is currently no longer expressive of the current events that mostly have out-paced people’s understanding.
2 – Non-Implementation of Islam and Affiliation to Foreign Powers
Many people find it difficult to comprehend or break the notion that one of the rulers in the Muslims’ lands could break free from his dependency to a superpower, or his endeavour to break free from his dependency to her and determine the relationship of his country with the superpowers or other state on the basis of interest rather than dependency.
The reason for declining to accept this new concept is as follows:
1 - Finding it very atypical for a ruler in the Muslims’ lands to consider breaking free from dependency.
2 - Confusing between two issues that are not connected in reality, namely dependency or independence on the one hand, and implementing or not implementing Islam on the other hand.
It has been entrenched in our “political mind” that the independence of the Muslims and the liberation of their political willpower could only be on the basis of Islam. This narrative is true inasmuch as the independence of the Muslims should on the basis of Islam; however, this does not rule out the possibility that some Muslim chieftains may become independent and their political willpower and domestic and foreign decisions may be liberated from dependency on the Kuffar on other than the basis of Islam. Any state in the Islamic world, or even any state in the world, does not necessarily have to be dependent to a superpower; and the fact that a ruler in the Muslims’ lands does not implement Islam and does not rise to help the Muslims does not necessarily mean that he is still an agent. It is not conceivable to judge the collaboration of any ruler in the Islamic world or his dependency according to the extent of his adherence or his implementation of Islam upon himself or in the state or in society, or according to his self-declared commitment to secularism. The two syndromes of implementing Islam and independence or the non-implementation of Islam and dependency to the West do not have an evidence in reality; the existence of one does not necessitate the existence of the other and likewise, the lack of one does not necessarily lead to the nonexistence of the other. A ruler may implement Islam and be a collaborator and he may not implement Islam and be independent and not affiliated to any major power.
3 – The Difference between an Independent State and a Dependent State
It is imperative in this context to perceive the difference between an independent state, a satellite state and a client state. Flaws at the research level and confusion between the concepts and the definitions could have dire consequences for political analysis and political work among people.
An independent state acts at will in its foreign and domestic policy and according to the interest it sets out for itself. As for a satellite state, it is linked in its overall foreign policy to another state on the basis of interest rather than dependency. A client state proceeds in its domestic and foreign policy according to the interests of another state to which it is dependent and a tool in its hand.
Based on the aforementioned, the criterion by which we judge a state to be a client state and dependent on a foreign power is the sum of several issues from which we list the following:
1 – If the protection of the country and its inhabitants is in the hands of a foreign power; i.e. if the safety of the ruler, the masses and the country are in the hands of a superpower on which the ruler is dependent.
2 – If the domestic policy of the state is decided by the power on which the ruler is dependent; this also applies to the economic and cultural policies.
3 – If the foreign policy of the dependent state is controlled and steered according to the plans of the master state even if this dependency threatened the existence of the dependent state itself or its national security.
7 Thil Hijjah 1439
19 August 2018