Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Union of South American Nations unlikely to challenge US hegemony

At a summit in Brasilia , Brazil , on Friday 23rd of May, 12 South American countries formally constituted the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a regional integration initiative which began informally in 2004. The countries that make up UNASUR are Venezuela , Colombia , Argentina , Bolivia , Brasil , Chile , Ecuador , Guyana , Paraguay , Peru , Surinam , and Uruguay , encompassing a total population of 380 million inhabitants Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez described UNASUR as the culmination of the region’s search for unity. "Only in unity will we later have, progressively, complete political, economic, cultural, scientific, technological, and military independence," Chávez commented. However, Chavez’s upbeat assessment of the new union is misplaced. Whilst Chavez leads a small bloc of countries that are avidly anti-American, most other countries that are part of the union toe the American line. This polarization will ensure that policy makers in Washington retain overall supremacy in economic and foreign policy matters in Latin America.

Nevertheless, this is a portent sign for the Muslim world. All over the world nations are clamoring together to forge political unions to fend off Western imperialism. However, the Muslim world appears to be immune from such new initiatives, despite the over whelming yearning of the ummah for political unity. The existing unions such as the Arab League, GCC and the OIC are either defunct or clearly serve the agenda of the colonialist powers. Furthermore, these attempts at unity are based on the nation state model which is an antithesis to the concept of ummah. Only the Khilafah is correct model for forging political unity amongst the Muslim ummah. This is where all the existing Muslim countries will be unified into a single state headed by a Khalifah. The Prophet (saw) also said: "Whoever comes to you while your affairs has been united under one man, intending to break your strength or dissolve your unity, kill him." (Narrated in Sahih Muslim by 'Arfajah)


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