|Islam has been a cornerstone of Arab social and political thought|
To complement our coverage of the theme of Arab unity we asked our readers from across the world whether Islamism or pan-Arabism should be the dominant ideology.
Scholars differ on whether the best course of action is a return to a fundamental application of Islam or to embrace a more secularist, nationalistic approach.
Is pan-Arabism merely a step on the path towards a more encompassing Islamic unity?
Join our Arab Unity debate on the Your Views section of the site to let us know your thoughts.
A united Arab world is most likely implausible in some sense. First, each Arab country is unique and has its own interests. They are in effect, distinct nations. Second, Arabs are not homogenous. For example, Morrocco to Tunisia, most folks are genetically Berber and not Arabs. Palestinians are more related to Jewish folk than those of Arabia (DNA). Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan are actually Levantine and not Arab (or Arabian). And so forth. So, though what consists of the Arab world include folks who speak Arabic, they are really not the same people at all. It may be possible to have a block of nations be united in one cause (similar to the EU maybe), but being one people and united as such is probably not feasible.
Phil, New England, USA
Kelly: A muslim in name doesn't mean he/she is a Muslim according to Islamic values. Becoming the president of the US is not something wich would come up in the mind of a true convinced Muslim. There's just no chance that obama would have the possibility to drastically change the current national or global situation. That's a known fact even before someone decides to become the US president. A true Muslims would try to find other ways to do what's right. And for the record, it has nothing to do with suicide bombing or whatsoever.
crazykarimo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tahir: Unfortunately, you are correct. The war is unfortunate. The real shame though is that folks like a Saddam Hussein actually have power of entire nations which didn't help. While in power as president, I don't believe he was not at war but for maybe two years of his entire tenure for one reason or another. Though this doesn't justify any wars otherwise, it is a shame nations in some cases can be controlled by such irresponsible individuals.
Phil, New England, USA
Nicholas: I had raised a query as to how Iraq has got into its present state, considering that prior to the first Gulf war there was a near 100% school attendence (regardless of gender,) and Iraq was not known for involvement of religion in everyday life. I have to point out again that the sanctions did not help Iraqis, and instaed of concocting false presmises of WMD for regime change, perhaps the US administration should have found another way insated of bombing vast the majority of the country and then blame the current symptons on others. I know, you as a soldier are subject to orders but no matter how, the Iraq war was not legitimate and you do not have to try and justify it either. It removes the objectivity you often put out.
Tahir Ishaque, London, United Kingdom
Source: Al Jazeera