The success of most engineering projects depends on the use of ideal materials. Ideal materials are those that successfully pass many physical tests such as shrinking, stretching and resistance. Just like the materials used in engineering projects, states also pass several tests from time to time. These tests are sometimes natural disasters and, sometimes, wars. The most popular test of our time is an “economic crisis.”
It is still fresh in our memories how the economic crisis of 2001 has shaken a country like Turkey. Such a crisis, which can be considered as an important reason of social trauma, cannot be overcome without serious social outbursts. The most important social event that jogs our memories is the image of a citizen throwing a cash register right before the Prime Minister of the day, Ecevit, saying “this is no use to me anymore.”
However, economic crises do not have such light outcomes in most countries. For example, during the same years, people who poured into the streets of Argentine, which was struggling from an economic crisis like Turkey, plundered the shops, attacked rich neighborhoods and vandalized the surroundings. The newspapers of the period, compared Argentine to Turkey and rightfully reached the conclusion that a strong sense of austerity and spirituality in our country has prevented such social outbursts.
Europe is now being tested by the current crisis. Nonetheless, there are no major social events in Europe other than for Greece. However, some European countries are under another threat as dangerous as social outbursts. These countries find it difficult to preserve their integrity and state structures.
For instance Spain, this time the threat does not root in Bask. On the contrary, Catalonia, where the richest segment of society lives and the economy and industry are exceptionally developed is a threat against the unity of Spain.
After the draft that prescribes more autonomy to Catalonia region of Spain was put on the Parliamentary agenda, 1 million Catalans marched for “Independence.” The European Union is very concerned in the face of this development: The Union is concerned that Spain will collapse with the separation of Catalonia, this will set an example to other societies and as a result the plan of a ‘United Europe’ will come to nothing.
The reason that Catalans demand to separate from Spain is not because they cannot ‘live their own cultures’, or speak their own languages. There are no such problems in the country for Catalans. The real reason behind this demand is that Catalonia’s income is 20% more than the national income. Catalans think that they earn a lot as a result of their hard work yet other places besides Catalonia benefit from this. As a result, Catalans want to manage their own harbors, collect taxes and demand the right to use these taxes as they see fit. Also among the demands is to have a more independent and distinctive special system with regards to the Judiciary.
There is a similar situation in Italy. Many regional political parties in the North and Central Italy united and launched the Northern Union Party for Padania’s independence.
Their agenda is to turn the northern regions of Italy into a federal structure. The richest northern region of Italy does not want to share its incomes with the people of Southern Italy who speak the same language, have the same religion and ethnic background but who are poorer.
Italy and Spain seem to be keeping their separation demands based on economic reasons a little under control thanks to the influence of the EU and advanced democratic mechanisms. However, there are countries more threatened than Spain and Italy. Iraq is one of them. Here the problem arises from oil revenues between Northern Iraq and the central government.
In the annual budget of Iraq for 2014, there is an article imposing Northern Iraq to give 400 thousand barrels of oil to the central government as a condition. In this article, it is stated, “If the oil produced in one region is not allocated to the central government, a consideration amount will be cut from the budget given to that region.” So Baghdad says, ‘if I cannot take 400 thousand barrels of oil I will cut my share from the 17% share I am entitled to.’ Baghdad is concerned that Northern Iraq will earn more than this 17% share with the oil export to Turkey. If the central government cannot prevent Northern Iraq’s oil initiative, Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk are waiting for their turn to sell their oil. They also do not want to share the revenues of their oil with the central government or the poor Sunni people living in the central parts of Iraq. Therefore, the Baghdad government considers the distribution of oil revenues according to regional interests as a loss of state sovereignty.
It is clear that economic crises are serious tests of the political systems of states. Actually, there are economic factors behind the 1789 French revolution, which led to the fall of the monarchy and the rise of the national state. The heavy economic crisis caused by the 7 years war was enough to destroy a kingdom. However, it would not be realistic to say that the economy was the only influencing factor in these tests either today or during the French revolution.
When crisis moments are synthesized with a materialist perspective, it even affects people who share the same culture, speak the same language, share the same land, and have the same flag. Suddenly they are not able to tolerate one another. Many people witness the livelihood of these people and pity them. However, what is remarkable is that after a period of time they come to the realization that the existence of these people could cause them discomfort.
They then strive to eliminate them from their lives, let alone save them from their current state of affairs. They also deny any responsibility, by saying, “Why should I share my own riches with these people?”
However, being rich and separated in terms of power would not benefit or save these people. It would also not make the world a place full of justice, peace, security and prosperity. The reason is that no matter how rich or developed countries are, they are still at risk of having a crisis. The crisis is as probable for Spain as for Catalonia. Ultimately, regardless of all their advanced industries and revenues, both Catalan and Italians of the North eat and fill their stomachs with food, just like the people they despise for being poor. This is actually the most explicit proof that wealth and power cannot be an indication of dignity or prestige alone.
In order to use wealth and power for the benefit of the poor and needy, people first need to have conscience, and the only way to have a conscience is through faith. Only faithful people continuously listen to their conscience and behave in the appropriate manner.
Therefore, there is only one solution for the injustice, turmoil, terror, massacres, famine, poverty and oppression in the world: the moral values of the Qur’an.
When we take a general look at the problems in the world, we see that all these events are the result of the lack of love, hatred, grudge, enmity, self-interest, recklessness, ruthlessness and lack of reason.
The only ways to solve and eradicate these problems is through love, compassion, mercy, serving without reciprocity, sensitivity, friendship, self-sacrifice, tolerance, common sense and wisdom.
These attributes only belong to people who live according to the moral values of the Qur’an.
Adnan Oktar's article on The Frontier Post :