Possible socio-economic and cultural integration of Muslim countries

The Muslim community consists of a large number of countries. Many of these countries are in close proximities and have similar cultural and economic situations. There are many similar Communities like these in the Muslim World, and their gradual amalgamation could result in strongholds in the Muslim World. Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and others have extremely similar cultural and socio-economic patterns. They have similar dress codes, rituals and other cultural behaviors. Economically, almost all of them are very highly developed, taking their places alongside the richest countries of the World. Countries of the former USSR, like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, have similar cultural and economic properties as well, both being nations of the 2nd or 3rd World Country. Moreover South Asian Muslim nations like Bangladesh and Pakistan also have similar socio-economic and cultural features. The same things apply to the African Muslim countries with their similarities. All these nations form integral parts of the grand Muslim Community and thus in addition to the similarities between nearby countries, a large integration of all the nations is most desired. Such a grand amalgamation can be achieved through a common Muslim organization. Such an organization would take under its roof all the countries and providing a common platform for the nations so that the less powerful nations maybe helped by the powerful nations and also at times, the vice versa. This platform will provide a place for debates, taking all the opinions into account before passing a fair decision. One such organization is the OIC – Organization of Islamic Cooperation. This organization consists of 57 member states which comprise of nations from Asia and Africa. It has been providing help in the welfare of the Muslim Ummah for some time now. Assisting the OIC are organizations like the IDB – Islamic Development Bank, providing financial loans to the OIC countries, usually with very low “interest rates”. Interest rates maybe an inappropriate term as interest is strictly prohibited in Islam, also known as “Riba”. The better term maybe “returns for loans”. This 2 organizations deal with many other international platforms like the European Union (EU) and help settle issues between the Eastern and the Western world. These have succeeded but even more success is needed for the Muslim community. This can be achieved through Free Trade Areas to improve the economic conditions of the Asian Muslim States. This would cause a decentralization from the major organizations like OIC and manage the workload of the countries better, similar things to be done in Africa. Moreover, coming to the cultural side, common cultural platforms should be set up where the glorious culture of the Islamic community would be in display for the world to see. More and more of such programs need to take place to uphold the

traditions of our glorious community and to confirm its existence. It is more required now than ever before as Islam is the fastest -growing religion in the world. We do not want our new Muslim brothers and sisters to come towards Islam half-convinced, do we?

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