Analyse the factors that stand in the way of fuller cooperation among the Muslim countries. Suggest steps to improve it.

Analyse the factors that stand in the way of fuller cooperation among the Muslim countries. Suggest steps to improve it.

Written By Laraib Rafique Rai

The dissension among the Muslim countries is a product of deviance from the Islamic principles. Globalisation and the modern nation-state system have subjugated the concept of Pan-Islamism. Although the devotees of Islam represent the world’s second-largest religious group. 26 out of 195 countries denote Islam as a state religion officially. Likewise, according to an estimate, 1.8 billion or more than 24 per cent of the world’s population are adherents of Islam. Apart from being the world’s second-largest religious community, unfortunately, The Muslim society is disunited on religious, political and economic grounds. Historically, the hegemonic unipolar world order after the collapse of the Soviet Union enfeebled the Muslim nation. Moreover, the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 and the so-called liberalisation of the Muslim countries proved to be the final thwacks on Muslim unity. It thwarted the Muslim world and stagnated the region’s socio-political, economic, and technological development. Furthermore, the incident of 9/11 – additionally- added fuel to the fire; thus, it resulted in the Muslim countries’ despotic subjugation, political oppression, economic pauperisation, cultural emasculation, internal strife, external military aggression, and technological backwardness. In short, the US influenced the Muslim majority countries for two reasons: first, to contain communism. Secondly, to exploit the resources and beef up its economy.

Factors responsible for the disunion of the Muslim states.

There are several political, economic, religious and social factors responsible for the disharmony among the Muslim countries, which are discussed below.

Political factors behind discord among the Muslim States.

The unscrupulous International Politics has posed catastrophic impacts on the Muslim countries’ unity. The real-politic of the day comprises the nation-states’ national interests, thus abandoning the Ummah’s interests. The UAE’s recognition of Israel and rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan generate new waves of disunity in The Muslim world. Similarly, the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition, a joint venture of Saudi Arabia and 40 Muslim countries, was formed to curtail terrorism in the region. Still, possibly, its real aim was to counter Iran.

Moreover, Most Muslim states are the victims of proxy wars waged by the United States and its allies. Others are confronting political instability, authoritarian regimes, lack of good governance, extremism, and non-state actors’ interference. It has provided a breeding ground for terrorists and quasi-states, like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/Daesh)- functional in many Muslim countries, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. Muslim states into the weak polity. 

Economic Factors Behind the Disagreement Among the Muslim States

Most of the Muslim countries are failing economically. These countries lag educationally and technologically. Besides, there is a trade deficit among Muslim countries, for there is an unavailability of the market for goods and services. In consequence, a communication gap has been generated, which is advantageous for developed countries. Ironically, raw materials are sold by the Muslim states to the developed countries at low rates; in return, finished goods are imported at high rates. Hence, economic inefficiency is another thorn in the way of cooperation among the Muslim states.

Sectarian violence; a reason for discord in the Muslim world.

A melancholic crisis of sectarianism is a bedrock of the Muslim countries’ schism. Equality and unity is the gist of Islamic doctrine, but its followers have plunged into the dungeon of sectarianism, functionalism, and religious bigotry. Consequently, the concept of brotherhood and a sense of unity are ripped out from the Muslim community. The denomination of Islam into different sects, majorly Shiism, Sunnism, has provided a nidus for the Muslim world’s rising anger.

 The Organisation for the Islamic Conference; led by Saudi Arabia.

Organisation for Islamic Conference (OIC) is the world’s second-largest intergovernmental organisation after The United Nations, with 57 member states works under Saudi Arabia’s influence. Unlike the EU, OIC has failed to unite its members. The organisation aims to safeguard the sovereignty and independence of the member states across the world. Unfortunately, it has been abortive towards its motive. The political rhetoric of the organisation contradicts the ground realities. Furthermore, the organisation is incapable of unifying its stance on multiple issues, like in Palestine and Kashmir. The Political, social, and cultural diversification of the member states inhibits the organisation’s proficiency. 

Way Forward to improve Cooperation Among the Muslim countries.

To enhance cooperation among the Muslim states, the following steps are needed to be taken.

Enhancing Political Resilience 

Political resilience can sail the ship of Muslim harmony in the right direction. autonomous decision-making skills and maintaining a balance of power are the key features of progressive nations. Nevertheless, countering the menace of bad governance and introducing democratic values can speed up the Nation-building process. Also, it will enhance cooperation among Muslim countries.

Augmenting Economic Development 

The Economic Development of the Muslim majority states is part and parcel of collaboration. A strong economy guarantees public foreign policy. Apart from this, the circulation of Foreign Direct Investment among the Muslim states can help in job creation, poverty elevation, and living standards improvement. Similarly, the expansion of inter-trade and easy social mobility across The Muslim countries will establish cultural permeation and cooperation. The Islamic- developmental bank must work on the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank standards to support economically vulnerable Islamic countries.

Ending sectarian violence 

Ending sectarian violence is very important to foster the relationship among the Muslim community. Islam promotes peace and respect for others. At the same time, sectarianism and extremism lead to hatred and animosity.  The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) ‘s the last sermon is the epitome of unity and brotherhood for all MuslimsHence, eradication of ethnic and sectarian violence is paramount to cherish unity and integrity among the Muslims.

The Imperial role of the OIC

The OIC’s impartiality is a prerequisite for the Muslim world’s union. It must raise its voice against the Muslims’ religious, political and social assault internationally. Besides, the organisation must work on Democratic tenets and without taking any influence. It must organise cultural, social, educational programs involving all the member states to spur mutual liaison among Muslim society.

Critical Analysis 

The looming crisis of disharmony has shrouded the entire Muslim world. The modern nation-state has dwindled the concept of Ummah. Also, to serve the national interests, the Muslim countries often forsake the Ummah’s collective interests. Likewise, political, cultural and social diversification led to the Muslim world’s disunity. Economic and technological backwardness has further aggravated the situation. Also, the role of The OIC is susceptible to Monarchic interference. The factors mentioned above, all together, constitute a significant challenge to cooperation among Muslim countries.


To summarise, unity and cooperation are the kernels of Islamic doctrine. The believers of Islam must champion one another’s trust and establish strong bonds of cooperation. By following the Islamic teachings, Muslims have ruled the world for centuries. Today, in the wake of ideological warfare, the one-way solution for all the Muslim Ummah’s political, social, cultural, economic and educational subjugation lies in the heart of unwavering unity. Perhaps, by promoting quality education and technological advancements along with enhancing mutual interdependence in trade and social mobility, the Muslims can become the vanguards of the globalised world.

About the writer:

Miss Laraib Rafique Rai is one of the sterling students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali, one of the eminent Grammarian in the world. Under his proficient supervision, she is enrolled in course of Online Creative English Writing and learning Basic to Advanced Grammar. She has done Master in Political Science and is profound in writing articles on several topics- like national and international issues, Current Affairs, Science, Fiction, and many more.

Name of the Student: Miss Laraib Rafique Rai
Qualifications: Masters in Political Science
Total Articles/Blogs: 3
English Coach: Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Course Taken: Creative English Writing & Article Writing

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