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The Role and Contribution of Islam in Promoting the Culture of Peace in a Globalized World

May 9, 2008, 7:19 AM | Article By: By Dr. Omar Jah Jr. - Head of the Humanities Department - University of the Gambia

Part 5)

3-Islam: a Vehicle for Peace in a Globalized World

Globalization is the process of imparting globalism. Due to its multi-faceted nature, encompassing economic, scientific, technological, cultural and political dimensions, globalism is elusive and difficult to grasp. Nonetheless it is a world that can be described as one village. Because of the extreme rapidity of motion today, a sneeze in Singapore is directly felt in Ethiopia and cough in America vibrates in the Gambia. What is interesting is that globalization as it was consciously designed is different from globalization as it is unconsciously unfolding.

I may claim that the latest global paradigm is the "New World Order" of the Neo-Conservatives in America as declared by Mr. Bush the father. It began to emerge after the collapse of former Soviet Union, intensified after the American victory over Saddam Hussein in the Second Golf War and became very convincing to the American public opinion after 9/11.

Despite the fact that the term globalization is relatively recent, the idea is not. In their ancient mystery system, Egyptians entertained the idea of self knowledge as a global reflection, and despite the fact that to the Greeks the idea of the Polis (City State) was deep-rooted the Stoics entertained the idea of a "universal reason"

However, the most important global worldview originated from the son of Abdullah and Aminah, a child who was born in Mecca in 571 AC in the year of the Elephant. He was named Muhammad derived form 'hamd" carrying all meanings of peace. His entire life can always serve as the basis of global peace for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike

With him came the idea of universalism as the best contribution to human peace. The idea of unity of origin of all matter, space and time is deep-rooted in Islamic universalism. The biggest dilemma for globalism resides in its extreme individualistic approach to reality, its constant failure to see unity in diversity. Based on the concept of the unity of origin of all matter, Islam logically and most importantly promotes the idea of unity of the origin humanness and humanity. The Qur'an declares:

Verily we have made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another al-Hujrat, 49:13.

Islamic universalism teaches against all forms of cultural ethnic tribal feelings of superiority. "All of you are from Adam and Adam is from clay; there is neither superiority for Arabs over non- Arabs nor is there superiority for non-Arabs over Arabs except by piety, the Prophet (pbuh) declared.

To be continued