Cultural Conflict or National Conflict
Political Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi

About the prognosis that in future, conflict will not be on national fronts but on cultural fronts, what is your opinion? The situation in the past, according to Dr Hoffman was no different; in his opinion, wars fought in every era were fought between cultural unities.


I agree with the point that in the past, conflict has usually taken place between cultural unities but in my opinion, cultural unity is never the cause of conflict. If you study the four to five thousand years history of human civilization, take into account the historical analyses of Ibn Khaldūn from the people of old times and Toynbee from the people of modern times, and also take guidance from the historical discernment as found in the revealed scriptures, it will become evident to you that the cause of conflict is always four things.

The first thing is worldly benefits. As they are of individuals, likewise they are of nations. If these benefits continue to accrue, then peace stands firm, and if strife is initiated about them, then conflict arises.

The second thing is the disposition of dominance in mankind. When born in individuals, it makes them Caesar and Alexander, when born in nations, it makes them the empires of Rome and Persia. Halaku Khan, Ghenghis Khan, Babar, Bayazeed Yaldram, Hitler, Mussolini, all are its emblems. In the present time, attempts are being made to bridle this disposition by establishing international values, but it is so obstreperous that nothing can be said when the rein breaks loose and it, intemperately, starts ravaging humans. Presently, since the west has supremacy in various fields of life, so there is more dread of it becoming tempestuous.

The third thing is religious coercion. West has, to a large extent, emancipated itself from it because its cultural upbringing is in reaction against religious coercion. For this reason, it is very gratifying that despise for religious coercion has found its way not only in the roots of the western culture but the west has also become the propagator of it in the world. In Muslims, aside from a few extremist factions, this thing has never gained currency. That is why it apparently seems that there is not much scope of conflict on this basis.

The fourth thing is the implementation of divine retribution through the hands of human beings. This thing has ended with the completion of prophet-hood. There is no doubt that Muslim thinkers born in the previous century have endeavored to declare it the goal of Muslims by erroneously interpreting it, but, by the grace of God, the process of clarifying the fault of this interpretation to people has been initiated, very rapidly, by Muslim scholars themselves. I do not say that this process has been very successful but I would definitely say that in the next two decades, its effects would be quite discernible in Muslim religious thought. So in my opinion, it cannot be the cause of any conflict from the Muslim side.

So in the present time, only two things pose real threat. One is worldly benefits, and the other is the disposition of dominance. If mankind unites and bridles these two demons, then conflict can be thwarted. Otherwise, the sweepings can catch fire any time from the sparks subdued in the instincts of man. So I think that there is no danger of any conflict amongst civilizations. Whenever conflict transpires, it will be because of the mentioned two reasons. I fear that if the occurrence or non-occurrence of conflict vis-a-vis civilizations is examined from an angle of view different from this, then this thing will itself become a cause of conflict.

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