Emergence of Modern Muslim Nation-States

Many events happened in the nineteenth century that eventually led to the current global state of Islam. Many shocks and unexpected occurrences characterised the growth of this religion in the world. Many regions, where there was resistance to the religion, saw major changes caused by Europe and the United States. There was the increased acceptance of the religion. It was unprecedented in the annals of Islam. During the century, several empires fell, while new formidable states were formed in the process. Apart from Islamic states, other countries with Muslim minorities, especially in the West emerged. Liberation led to the acceptance of Islam in the whole world without any regional or territorial restrictions.

The Ottoman Empire, which was located in Istanbul, was among the three major empires ever created to elucidate complications that were faced by the Muslim world around the 15th and 16th centuries. The building of it revealed that Islam was no longer a simple religious sensation. The empire embraced the complexity of multi-ethnicities, multi-religions and multi-glot empires. They had their own terms used in defining globalization. Despite all these, the empire took Islam to be its starting point (Esposito 649).

Today, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world involving over 1.2 billion people. There are more than fifty Muslim states, which are widely distributed covering the Atlas Mountains from the West to the East, the Malay Archipelago and steppes from Central Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa. These include several strong states, which harbour operative government establishments and other that have a perilous existence (Esposito 654).  In terms of economic prosperity, some are exorbitantly rich due to their wealth generated from natural resources, while others are poor states. One commendable thing about the development of Islamic states through the use of natural resources is the knowledge that they are seen as countries that cannot progress on their own. Many Western countries believed that they could not manage resources efficiently, but the opposite fact was proven by the manner, in which most of them, such as Malaysia, had become successful.

Most Muslim states have governments that practice varied politics. Diverse politics practices do not influence their faith. It is a unifying factor, which offers a sense of belonging, and it is very vital in social bindings and most importantly in politics. Islamic political leaders, forces and thinkers have been pillars of Muslim politics in a number of phases of the colonial era. It helped them greatly in the fights for freedom, since they expressed anticolonialism by connecting the struggles for deliverance and Islam (Esposito 675). However, their unity as Muslims is bed-portrayed, since countries warring internally come together to repel any control from external nations, most notably, the United States.

Tension in Muslim states was infused by national identities and ethnic affiliations. It had existed before the colonial era. They had their own distinctions that inhibited free interactions. During the colonial era, ethnic nationalism was introduced. It led to the incorporation of nationalism as a system of political ideas. It surpasses the Islamic identity and Muslim politics (Esposito 366). It has created mute splits between those that support the nationalist political ideal and those that follow the Islamic ideal of the holy community, Ummah. The latter concept calls for Muslim unity across national boundaries, while upholding Islam above all political commitments in their day-to-day activities.

The colonization of Muslim territories in the last phase resulted in the division of the Arabian lands of the Ottoman Empire after the World War I. Colonialists were from European countries, majorly France and Britain. To get free from colonization, Muslim states used different means that catapulted their emergence after the World War II. Some employed negotiated withdrawals, while others had to go to wars, which were bloody and inhuman (Esposito 384). However, they managed to win the battle and gained their freedom after these long fights.

Some states got their independence in territories that were demarcated by the colonial powers. Most of them agreed to the international borders that divided them into sovereign entities and gave new shapes. These were not rejected by colonies, and Muslim states did not even reconstruct the holy community. However, afterwards, Muslims again extended the boundaries of nation-states, they were in. Most Islamist movements practice their politics with the territorial reality that governs the Muslim world (Esposito 383). Some states became Muslim.

By the 1970s, most Muslim territories had gained independence enabling them to become liberated Muslim states with some being parts of the liberated non-Muslim states.  Colonialism heritage can still be felt partly in their societies, politics and economical activities. Additionally, they have colonial institutions, adapted colonial ideologies, partly in political visions and the concept of territorial states. Nowadays, nation-states that make up the Muslim world have Islamic unity as a key factor in their politics, despite attempts of colonialists aimed at dividing the Muslim world to enhance their rule over them due to tension that may have risen (Esposito 387). There has remained a cord that unites Muslims against their former colonisers. It has led to their union to resist any efforts in an attempt to disintegrate their unity, especially the ones of external countries aiming to take control over natural resources that most Islam states own.

Order now

Related essays