The Middle East is a land of civilisations that has long been a homeland for countless states and empires, and the birthplace of the three monotheistic religions. It is one of the most significant regions in the world; so to speak, the heart of the world.
The region has assumed a very important role in every period of history in political, strategic, social and economic aspects and acted as a bridge in spreading and developing cultures and belief systems.
With its geographical position uniting both East and West, the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, Russia and the warm seas and its strategic resources such as oil, gas, diamonds, gold and uranium, the Middle East has great importance and been the primary target for those shadowy forces in pursuit of world domination throughout history.
It is a well-known that by means of terrorist acts, psychological warfare strategies, illegal organisations and illegal political, economic and military activities, such forces have been striving for dividing the lands of the Middle East, taking control of the region by destroying the local elements and thus accessing the resources in the region freely and having a voice in the region.
The shadow state forces also plan to divide the region into the smallest units possible, weakening and destabilising the region, to force the region to lose its integrity and to become a heap of destroyed states, then to move the region’s people away from religion and to create a Middle East without Islam.
On the other hand, there is a critical fact that the people behind this plan have overlooked; the Middle East has been identified with religions, particularly with the religion of Islam, for thousands of years. Religion in such a large area has been the only element that brings about the most effective way of life in the region.
In fact, the Middle East is the homeland for religions, and it is religion that has shaped the region for the past several millennia. Therefore, it would be an incomplete view to acknowledge that the importance of the region in the international conjuncture accrues only from its geopolitical or geostrategic location, energy resources or political characteristics.
It should be always remembered that the region has been, in a manner of speaking, the embodiment of the three great divine religions in the world.
The Middle East, literally acting as a “geography of religions”, has been blended with religions in such a way that it is possible to see the reflection of this characterisation in every country in the region.
The Middle East is the region where Christianity, which forms the basis of Western civilisation, was born and spread to the world. In addition to Christianity, Judaism is also a monotheistic religion born in the Middle East, accounting for 4% of the total population of the region.
And of course, Islam is the dominant religion in the countries across the region. For instance, 95% of the population of Qatar is Muslim and 99% of the population of Saudi Arabia is Muslim. Furthermore, Muslims are 99.5% of the population of Iran, 99.7% of the population of Afghanistan and 99% of the population of Iraq and Yemen.
Having been dominant in the region since the 7th Century, Islam has a major impact on all aspects of daily life including politics, economics, law, culture, science, arts and education. Everything in the Middle East is based on Islamic traditions and almost the entire region is characterised by Islam.
It is a nightmare for the local people to drift away from Islam. For that reason, it would be of no use to indoctrinate them to set their religion aside because of economic or political promises. Indeed, one of the most prominent characteristics of the people in the region is their devotion to religion.
These people have lived faithfully by their religions for many centuries and maintained their faith under even the most adverse conditions and environments up to the present. It is nothing but a pipe dream to envision a Middle East without a religion, without Islam.
In other words, the notion of “a Middle East without Islam” and consequently “a world without Islam”, for which the shadow state forces have been striving for years, are a part of an amateurish plan, unrealistic and impossible to reach.
In addition to the different characterisations of the geography of the Middle East, it is necessary to say that there have been many people sharing a common history and culture as well as a common fate.
The failure or success of these plans of destruction, which were built many years ago and are attempted to be put into practice today, depends upon the strengthening of this commonality.
The people of the Middle East should not be provoked by foreign forces and should not allow themselves to become a pawn of the violence and conflicts engulfing the region; they must endeavour to overcome the snares laid for them.
Millions of people have paid for the ongoing oppression in the Middle East for almost a century by losing their lives. Today, there is not even one place which has not been dominated by conflict in the Middle East.
Marking its sixth year of civil war, Syria lost more than 250,000 people, and while an entire nation has been essentially wiped off the face of the Earth, what remains is a devastated country where only the opposing forces fight to kill each other.
About 400,000 Libyans were displaced within the country due to the ongoing conflicts since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya and the subsequent civil war; Yemen is now completely divided because of severe conflicts between Shia Houthis and the government.
The sectarian conflicts in Iraq are responsible for more than 15,000 deaths, among them many civilians.
It would be impossible to unleash such a scourge upon the Middle East only when the people in the region can put their conflicts aside and gather for peace and brotherhood.
Recalling the fact that the unifying element in the Middle East is religion, the region should maintain its position as a part of the world where all communities, including different religions and sects, can freely articulate their beliefs; each group should defend their beliefs and above all, respect what is different from what they believe.
Everyone should unite under the belief in the Oneness of God and prevent the destruction of the region.
The matter of urgency for the salvation of the Middle East is to build a community based on brotherhood, friendship, tolerance and compassion, which are the values ordered by all of the true religions.
Beyond question, a community of love based on religion underlies the power and the strength of the Middle East.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
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