The world will not be stable until differences are seen as something to be embraced and celebrated, instead of a problem.
There was a time when mathematics would be used to analyze topics ranging from global politics to solving water and transportation issues. For instance, in schools, there would be questions such as how many hours does it take to fill a pool in A's garden? Or how many hours would a car take to reach Point B from Point A?
The above examples are relevant to current world politics. For instance, A's pool has holes and thus can never be filled unless the hole is repaired. Similarly, if a blind driver is driving a car from Point A to Point B, the car will either never reach the destination or it will never leave Point A.
The main takeaways from these two math questions show us that explicit problems can have clear solutions. The world is a pool that needs to be filled by all of us through collaboration, cooperation and solidarity. Humans drive the world where only mutual understanding is the key to exploring the world.
Unfortunately, though, Western rulers have chosen to approach multiple fronts through a mentality once present during the Crusades, especially when it comes to the non-Western dissidents of the planet. These "fronts" are as follows:
The Asian approach
Japan is the world's first industrialized Asian nation, now seen as a prominent ally of the U.S. It could be said that Japan had reached a similar level of Western development decades ago before being bombed by the U.S. in 1945.
However, the use of the atom bomb did not prevent Japan from joining the developed nations. The Japanese people simply worked harder, even though it was the Americans who framed the Japanese constitution.
It is very possible that Japan could have achieved more without the Western powers if it was not interrupted by American development and innovation. Today Japan is the world's third-best economic power.
The West is currently in a stalemate with another Asian giant, China. The country is now often portrayed as anything from an Asian rival, to the greatest threat faced by the West in maintaining its hegemony across all fields.
Over the last couple of years, China has opted to create policies that compete with the West; policies that differ from the Japanese. The meteoric rise of China following the normalization of Sino-American ties has not been welcomed much in Europe. As a result, there have been reciprocal political, economic and military moves to curb the other side. In this respect, the Malabar exercises of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which includes the U.S., Japan, India and Australia, this year was the latest snub of China.
Terrorism does not belong to any religion, race and country. Genuine Muslims do not approve of any violent acts towards humanity. Those who teach about Islam should learn to differentiate between true believers of Islam and others. For instance, Daesh can be shown as a distinctive example of a group that does not follow the tenets of Islam.
The actions of these terrorist groups that profess to uphold Islam must not be used as an excuse to generalize and specify Muslims as violent and subversive terrorists. It should be noted that there are millions of real Muslims who live, participate and contribute to their societies around the world.
Given that Muslims are a part of different societies around the world, Western powers such as France should adopt an inclusive policy toward Muslims. At the same time, the government should avoid sudden and repressive policies that may create further division between Muslims and Christians. And in this day and age, they do not need more reasons to be divided.
Unfortunately, French President Emmanuel Macron said "Islam is a religion that is in crisis all over the world today, we are not just seeing this in our country."
Such remarks are extremist. He automatically assumes that Christianity is a religion that allows Christians to live in utopia. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also equated the Halal sign to terrorism and separatism.
It was recently that I read about two Muslim ladies, Kenza and Amel, being attacked in France due to being Muslims. It was reported as a racial attack on the media. Were these two ladies attacked because they are French by paper but Algerian by nature? How will Macron explain this attack? Does this attack count as Christian terrorism against Muslims?
Moves such as labeling Muslims as terrorists and raiding mosques are likely to highlight religious differences. Macron's remarks on Islam have caused anger among Muslims. Muslim nations such as Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Qatar and many others condemned Macron over his disrespectful statements about Islam while Muslims across the globe call for a boycott of French products.
The West's anti-Turkey stance was observed in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, which has recently ended with Armenia admitting the defeat.
In the last few months, the Armenians attacked the inner cities of Azerbaijan with missiles, killing dozens and displacing thousands of innocent Azerbaijani citizens.
Unfortunately, Western powers placed the blame squarely on Ankara for siding with Baku. Before the recent deal, Armenia, for example, had broken three truces but the Western world never condemned the country for its war crimes and violation of international laws. Many perceived the Western attitude as follows – the Azerbaijani people are Turkic-Muslims and so they deserve to die mercilessly at the hands of Armenians.
Similar Western stances are seen regarding Turkey's relations with Greece, Libya, Qatar and Azerbaijan, followed by Turkey's rightful, legal and humanitarian actions and policies in the surrounding regions. Unfortunately, these actions and policies are deemed and portrayed as a threat.
I would like to mention two remarkable moves for those who provoke Turkish-Arab and Turkish-Kurdish unrest in the region. For instance, the current Western politics in the Middle East is the result of an anti-Turkish agenda.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt are strong examples of states, whose rulers somehow view Turkey as an enemy. It is understandable to see each other as rivals in world politics, but considering each other enemies is something totally different. Turkey is not an enemy of the Arabs and the Kurds. Turkey has proved its sincerity by allowing millions of Syrians and Iraqis, who now live in Turkey.
A similar move was made by former Turkish President Turgut Özal in the 1980s to save thousands of Kurds when Iraq's toppled leader Saddam Hussein attacked them in Halabja, following the Iran-Iraq war. However, Turkey's unforeseen move toward the fugitive Kurds changed their destiny. This has resulted in many positive changes for the people in the region.
Nervertheless, Turkey has been always a victim of harsh policies in the international arena. Some groups do not want to see Turkey's uniting and constructive initiatives. Furthermore, these groups have tried to seed hostile attitudes toward Turkey among people of the region. Egyptian professor Muhammad Harb put it as "external actors are playing a role in creating divisions between Turkey and other Muslim nations following the demise of the Ottomans."
Same in the African continent
I just would like to conclude this article by writing "black lives matter."
Consequently, the Western mindset is the main reason behind the changing balance in global politics. It seems the declining power of the West is dragging the current established global order to the brink of collapse.
However, it will be another story if the West opts for a positive approach to these issues, particularly on matters concerning Muslim nations including Turkey as an emerging and influential global power.
This change of policy may bring more collaboration and partnership across the world between Turkey and the West. Ankara welcomes and reiterates true ties based on equality and mutual interest. The language of intimidation and accusation against Turkey may not bring any gains for the West which already lacks counterbalance when it comes to international politics.
*Ph.D. candidate in international relations at the University of Malaya, Malaysia
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