Nation or Ummah? Water Rights and Conflicting Claims

In Iran and Afghanistan, two regimes that claim to be purely Islamic are in power. Both of these regimes, like other groups that use Islam to gain political power and are known as political Islam, attempt to link their legitimacy to the concept of anIslamic Nation“. They claim that their concerns extend beyond their official borders and encompass all Muslims in the world by expanding the notion of nationhood. For years, the Iranian regime has been pretending to be the protector of Palestinians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians and other groups that are dependent on its oil money. Instead of improving the lives of its citizens, who suffer from discrimination, pressure and deprivation, its funds are being used to fuel proxy wars in the region in order to increase the power of the ruling group. In Afghanistan, instead of pursuing national interests and reaching an understanding with other forces and ethnic groups in order to restore full political and security stability, the Taliban have expanded their network of relations from Iran‘s Quds Force to militant groups such as the Pakistani Taliban, AlQaeda, Ansarullah and others. In both countries, there is a ruling approach that makes the rulers stronger and the people of these countries weaker and more helpless, and all this is done under the guise of protecting the nation‘s interests, which is actually in conflict with the nation‘s interests.

The current propaganda battle between the Iranian government and the Taliban, and its detrimental effects on the people of both countries, demonstrate the ineffectiveness of their ideological approaches and the senselessness of their dispute. This situation reveals that the concept of anIslamic Ummah as a legally binding entity with clearly defined boundaries and legal implications is nothing more than an illusion and a falsehood. The Islamic Ummah is a moral concept that does not have any legal obligations and has little practical use. For nearly a century, activists of political Islam, who lack the education to understand and differentiate between these concepts, have been propagating this illusion to the public. As a result, millions of members of Hizb-e-Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood, AlQaeda, Daesh, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and other groups have been serving the political agendas of others by adhering to this illusion, instead of serving their own nations. In contrast, the nation is a legally defined category that has become the basis for the interaction of countries and the international order in the modern world.

The contradiction between nations is not a new phenomenon, as evidenced by the Arab Brotherhood during the occupation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein‘s regime, which split into two hostile fronts. One side supported Saddam, while the other opposed the American attack. Similarly, when the secular regime of Syria clashed with the Brotherhood and then with AlQaeda, the fundamentalist regime of Iran supported them. This same contradiction can be seen in the case of supporting the Muslims of Uyghur, Kashmir, Libya, and many other cases, where governments and organizations act not on the basis of beliefs, but on the basis of their own interests. However, they often deceive people and gain a base among emotional youth by chanting slogans such asIslamic Ummah“. The Taliban and Iran are now playing the song of failure and inefficiency of the Ummah category on the border of this contradiction with the water rights dispute. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, the candle of rationality has been extinguished by the storm of ideologies, making it difficult to understand these simple issues.