By all accounts, the end of IS is neigh and the world has to grapple with the issue of what to do with the captives of whom a sizeable number are misguided youth lured by the promise of living in an Islamic caliphate.

UK’s hard line refusing to take back a female returnee has caused the death of two or three babies. The Australian Prime Minister has expressed similar attitude.

Apart from this issue, one question that faces Muslim world is whether the idea of a caliphate is also dead with the death of IS?

Advertisements

No sooner was it abolished in Turkey in 1924, agitation for its restoration began in British India, and even Gandhi joined the Khilafat movement.

Although it evaporated amidst the demand for Pakistan, the desire for a Caliphate on the model of Rahidun Caliphs reverberates through Muslim politics in various parts of the world and finds mention in many a weekly Friday sermon.

At the least, the idea of caliphate has a psychological and nostalgic impact on Muslim mind, which is not going to disappear with IS.

An analogy can be drawn from the heroic experience of the Jews who kept their dream of a Jewish state alive over centuries amidst systematic persecution and state backed oppression by Christian West.

It was the Jewish synagogues and educational institutions that carried that longing until Israel was created in 1948.

Muslim experience under Western hegemony is nowhere near the horrors underwent by Jews.

However, the way Western powers are manipulating to keep Muslim nations politically unstable, economically underdeveloped if not impoverished, and socially and religiously divided, all in order to maintain Western hegemony provides opportunities for politically ambitious Muslims to rekindle the idea of a caliphate.

IS experiment was its latest chapter.

IS demise certainly is not going to douse the caliphate flame permanently.

It may be lit again in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Even in the Middle East and North Africa (MINA), the havoc created in the aftermath of American invasion of Iraq is raising its probability.

When the Arab Spring sprouted in 2011 with demand for bread, dignity and democracy, Western subterfuge, maneuvers and prevarications, transformed that protest into a sectarian convulsion.

The tragedy in Syria is the direct outcome of this conspiracy for hegemony.

There is a growing generation of young Muslims, well educated, technologically savvy and acutely observant of these developments who are disappointed and frustrated by elusive promises and vacuous declarations of freedom and justice by the so called champions of democracy in the West.

This generation is driven to look into its own backyard to model their future with lessons from the past. An Islamic Caliphate is one such model.

Failures are pillars of success. One caliphate may fail here and another there, but lessons will be learnt from each failure to achieve success ultimately.

However, the more equitable, just and democratic the ruling world order becomes the more distant will be the reality of an Islamic caliphate.