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.