LAHORE: America’s intervention in the Muslim world in the last three decades has been on a consistent rise. This year alone, America has intensified its military assault — through drones in both Pakistan and Yemen, it has managed to further divide the Muslim world and has launched another war front in Libya.
The rulers of the Muslim world sheepishly give in to America’s dictates by presenting America’s supremacy as a formidable force that cannot be challenged.
Not so long ago, the reality was quite different, when the Muslim world was channelled under the caliphate state.
In 1783, the first US navy boat started to sail in international waters and within two years was captured by the Ottoman caliphate’s navy near Algeria. In 1793, 12 more US navy boats were captured. In March 1794, the US Congress authorised the then president, George Washington, to spend up to 700,000 gold coins to build strong steel boats that would resist the Ottoman caliphate’s navy. However, America’s military ventures were no match for the caliphate. Unable to deal with the situation, the US signed the Barbary Treaty in 1795 to resolve the threat from the then superpower, i.e. the caliphate.
Although this chapter of history may have been forgotten by many, it still haunts America.
Today, when the armies of the Muslim world find themselves entangled in a strained, costly, and counterproductive relationship with the US, this fact from history might strike a positive chord with many generals. History has shown, time and again, that when an army finds itself entrapped in the subservience of another state, with mistrust at its peak, its generals want to stand up on their own feet against the hostile state; and in such a situation, the idea of a caliphate is quite enchanting.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2011.