Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Barack Obama's Trip To Turkey & America's Relationship With The Muslim World

By Sikander Hayat


Mr Obama has made a good start in the Muslim World. Turkey, Iran & Pakistan are the most important non Arab Muslim countries and must be treated by the West as Allies.
I am the first one to understand the difficulty of dealing with Iran and the awful state of affairs in Pakistan but for students of history it will not be a surprise to hear that these three countries were part of a block against the Soviet influence in the Muslims world. These three countries were the members of an economic alliance called RCD and were thinking upon the lines of EU to have free trade and movement of labour. But then Iran went theocratic under the Mullahs and Pakistan was consumed by the Afghan Jihad. Out of the three most secular societies in the Muslim World, only Turkey survived as a bastion of secularism as Iran & Pakistan succumbed to Shia & Sunni Islam respectively. In this historical backdrop it is vital for the EU and the US to court Turkey and keep it on their side, otherwise history may eventually find Turkey on the other side as well.

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