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The EU Concept - Europe

The EU Concept

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

 

How the wheel of History churns in time, driven by ideas of great people, crushing much beneath its aloof cycles, leaving only marks of changes that were permanent, erasing all the little things that had actually made events possible; is most amazing. It is also amazing that as we change the matrix through which we choose to observe the world, the same data yields such variant outcomes as to remind us that man has, as yet, turned only a few leaves from all the millions that the autumns of history leave behind. 

The European Union is a unique concept, defying the churn of history as such, asking us to ponder upon the question as to what are the components that lead to separation of people into states and those that urge them to unite. 

Though man’s history has never been void of the stench of blood, it would not be an exaggeration to say that beginning from 1000 AD, Europe was drenched in war to an extent that there was no decade empty of it. The abrupt fire of war gained momentum over the centuries and from the 14th century onwards one could say that there was not a year that went by and Europe wasn’t bleeding in some part. Dissention and competition between kings, princes and knights; between the Church and the States; and between neighboring states and allies; grinded the common people of Europe in a never ending chain of misery and death. For all these centuries war was seemingly the only language to communicate in, for this brute people.

It was in 1648, when the Peace of Westphalia treaties were sighed in the attempt to end the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic. These treaties paved the way for Westphalian Sovereignty, which would lay the basis of the modern state by recognizing the sovereignty of each state; the fundamental right of political self-determination of the state; legal equality between states; and non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state. This treaty set the precedence for the thought of ‘non-violent states living in harmony within Europe’. Nevertheless, Europe remained equally aggressive for more centuries to come, till it had entirely drained itself with the two world wars.

There is an essential element of human nature, which urges it to strive for more power and resources, which compels man to sever and kill his own kind, which incites him to destruct and put to arson, in hate and arrogance, in mere moments, what was made in years with love and labor. An element of man’s nature that has from time immemorial, inclined man to draw boundaries, dump resources, ready weapons and nurture enmities and which was in full emblazon in Europe for the last half of the previous millennium, how was it to take a U-turn? How was it that the Europe, wherein wars were to end only when the nations had been permanently divided under Westphalia ideology, on ethnic, linguistic bases, never to re-merge again - that this Europe would learn to unite into one big European Union? Wherefrom did Europe get such an idea?

The model for Europe to learn from and change its ways was only one: the Muslim Caliphate, whereby all Muslim states whether under direct control of the center of the Caliphate or as independent states, were nevertheless subjectively a part of and an ally to the Caliphate. Therefore the emergent body of the Ummah was having a single consensual foreign policy, a mutual currency, free-to-cross borders and trade, and military alliance.

As it happened, the Ist World War proved to be the last blow upon the already tottering institution of the Caliphate; the British and their Allies went to the last limit to ensure that the Caliphate should cease to exist even in a symbolic form, so that the Ummah could be stripped away from the very idea of Unity, rendering it further and further away from the possibility to remerge in future. And with this divide Europe picked up its seed for uniting. 

At the end of WW2, in 1948, Europe was able to conduct the Hague Congress, wherein the idea of a United Europe and beyond that a unity within the whole White/Christian world was laid down. In the Congress, the ‘European Movement International’ and the ‘College of Europe’ were founded, wherein aspiring elite Eurocrates were to be injected with a spirit of European solidarity and union. Therefore with all their history of discord and barbarity behind them, Europe was being readied for this re-birth under the guidance of a few thinkers who had finally learned the worth of unity.

Following many developmental stages and treaties, the EU officially came to place in 1993, aspiring to unite its 27 White/Christian member states into a single currency, a single trade, a combined foreign policy, and a military alliance. Thus within the diverse ethnicities, languages and cultures that had always vied for land and power, a unique concept of unity was initiated; a unity based on ‘diversity’; a unity that needed not the people to be unified subjectively, wherein they would have forsaken their objective differences to become one people; but a unity meant only to join for economic and strategic gains.

Here lies the stark difference between the European Union and the Islamic Union in the Caliphate, which Europe had connived to abolish. Here lay the reasons why the Caliphate, that had come into being upon the ideals of one man and had swiftly evolved within a few day of the death of the Prophet, perpetuated for over 13 centuries, has left in its aftermaths an Ummah still united in a subjective ideal, yearning to come together again. While the EU that took over 45 years, and the backing of its own organizations and colleges, and of the elite from all around Europe who worked for its evolution, is already facing dire crisis, that signal its falling apart, when it has been only 20 years to its birth.

It is a perplexity that the EU gave the world’s largest nominal GDP and PPP in 2011 and gave itself the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, yet since the last 10 years, it has been facing the worst financial crisis of history; the facts are contradicting and eye-opening!

What really happened was that in the formulation of the EU, it was decided between the states that in order to make the Euro a successful currency, the states will ensure to limit their deficit spending and debt levels. To maintain clean-face governments were allowed to have pumped in billions of dollars in the name of ‘security’, from their own banks and from EU banks and organizations; even if it meant selling their sovereign rights and assets in return.

All this artificial insemination of funds did not prove to be a means for stabilizing the dwindling economies of these states as desired, rather they heaped up as un-repayable debts, the vicious cycle of which was becoming unsustainable by the day. This eventuated in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus collapsing into severe sovereign debt crisis and devastating political turmoil along with Slovenia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands. Several banks and Multinational Organizations have collapsed, jobs have been lost and austerity for the common European is on the rise.

Perhaps the EU was a political construct after all, aiming to convert Europe into one big Corporate, wherein the profits of the corporate are the only sovereign and uniting force. The European Central Bank (ECB) immorally pumped in trillions of dollars into its shareholder-states, which it knew were never to be paid back, and in spite of all defaults, it vows to extend free unlimited support for all Eurozone countries involved in a sovereign state bailout through its precautionary programs. So was this unity a unity of hearts or was it a unity for free plunder, debt-spree and a vow to be one in spreading havoc around the world with their NATO armies. Will the EU countries still stand together once the banking system eventually collapses and no more easy money can be lent? Or will they revert to their barbaric past then?

It is an irony to note that the EU lacked of any subjective message whatsoever for the people it aims to unite. Apart from its Charter of Rights based on liberal ideals, that tend to liberate man from all bounds instead to binding them together, EU has chosen a unique European Anthem for itself, based on Beethoven's 9th Symphony made upon Friedrich Schiller’s poem ‘Ode to Joy’. Observe the content:

“Joy! Beautiful spark of the gods -- Daughter of Elysium! -- In fervent rapture we enter the heavenly fire, thy sanctuary. -- Your magic reunites --   What fashion strictly divided, -- All men will become brothers -- Where your gentle wing rests.”

Poetry may be difficult to interpret, but for the common sense the simple message that comes out of these verses, is of Joy over Morals; of gods over a One God; of fire over calm; and of ‘unity in diversity’ under the one slogan of ‘Joy’. This poem in itself poses the danger of such a spark for controversy that it is played only instrumentally in all EU occasions and the lyrics are left out to the dark.

Can it be concluded then that Unity is not an end but a means to an end, it is a tool like the wheel and the axe, it is neutral and our usage of it will determine its goodness or it’s evil. If we unite in high moral, and in the highest ideal of the ‘One God’, this unity can be permanent, can harmonize humanity into one peaceful body, can marginalize the essential elements of greed and lust rooted in human nature and can make the hearts one. But if this unity is based on lust and greed, the so-called ‘Joy’, it will not be permanent nor progressive but only be destructive, however much it poses to be the opposite.

Today when Europe deems it right, to unite within and also across the Atlantic with its long departed cousins, many upholders of Freedom and Self-determination from the west are enjoining potential rebellion entities from within Islamic states to fight for freedom on ethnic or sectarian basis. The aim is to balkanize the already scattered Muslim Ummah; every now and then we see such opinions published in western newspapers as to how Afghanistan will be divided; what the new map of Pakistan would be; or how Iraq is already practically a divided state. The question is why is unity good for Europe and bad for us? Why was the idea of unity artificially injected in the European thought and why it is forcefully siphoned out from the Muslim thought?

Why is it bad or impossible for a Muslim block such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir to become a union of independent and interdependent states, not to become a threat to others around us, but to become allies and protectors only in the name of the ‘One God’ Who really unites us; is that so impractical! When we already stand for and stand behind each other; when already we are inseparable in geo-political scenarios and inevitably bear each other’s plight, through the decades. Why should Iraq be balkanized and then it would be the turn of Syria and then Jordan. Is it not just the thought; which is the easiest and the most difficult thing to change?

Why is the EU motto, "United in diversity”, and why do they propagate, abet and finance every possible divide in us. Yet at heart we are united, we pain when our brothers in Tunis are hurt, we are agonized when a Kashmiri is abused, we protest from Morocco to Bangladesh, in the millions, under one slogan, if a word has come upon our Prophet’s respect.

Has the 21st century not seen this amazing drama of comparison; a Europe and America coming out to the streets against ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Austerity’, and a Muslim Ummah coming out for the name of its Prophet!! Some would say that the Muslims are still trapped in in a backward millennium, but the truth is that Europe and the West as a whole have become void of all subjectivity; being the richest people of the world, still austerity is their only issue; they have nothing left to love but the object.