Asia, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

International News Review 21/05/2022

Biden Rushes to South Korea after Election of Pro-American President
The Emirate of Afghanistan comes under pressure from the West

Biden Rushes to South Korea after Election of Pro-American President

US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol agreed on Saturday to “expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on and around the Korean Peninsula” according to a joint statement issued afterwards. President Biden is firmly committed to US strategy to contain China. Ukraine was not a distraction from this but in fact intended, amongst other objectives, to separate Russia from China, as discussed in this column last week.

Biden’s visit to South Korea marks the beginning of a tour of key East Asian countries, and comes less than two weeks after the election of a new pro-American president in South Korea. According to The Hill:

President Joe Biden’s upcoming travel to South Korea and Japan comes at a critical juncture for U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific as Washington seeks to strengthen security networks among its allies and partners in Asia and Europe.

Although Biden’s meeting with his counterparts from Japan, Australia and India at the Quad Summit in Tokyo will likely draw the most media attention, his earlier stop in Seoul will be the real game-changer for the Indo-Pacific strategy. South Korea’s inclusion into the Indo-Pacific framework will have a significant bearing on how security cooperation unfolds among U.S. allies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden’s meeting with new South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will come just 11 days after Yoon’s inauguration. The timing could not be better for Yoon, who campaigned to make a “deeper alliance with Washington…the central axis of Seoul’s foreign policy.”

In fact, South Korea’s absence from the Indo-Pacific narrative has been puzzling given extremely high public support for the U.S. alliance and very low trust towards China. This perception has not only been felt in Washington but in the Indo-Pacific region itself.

One of America’s key irritants with President Yoon Suk-yeol’s predecessor, President Moon Jae-in, was his desire for peace with North Korea. America is determined to maintain North Korea as a permanent crisis point, in order to convince countries like Japan of the need to militarise, so that America can use them against China. Yoon Suk-yeol criticised this approach in his election campaigning. According to an article at The Diplomat:

… the Yoon administration will likely ring the death knell for Moon’s peace process by intensifying the arms race on the Korean Peninsula in the name of rebuilding broken ties with the United States. Yoon will justify this by saying the North has already crossed the red line by testing its ICBM in March, while Pyongyang will also use South Korea’s military developments as a pretext for further missile and nuclear tests.

America is consumed with its rivalry with China, a state that has no particular global ambitions. But the Western secular liberal Capitalist ideology that America embraces drives its hyper competitiveness pushing it to view any rising power as a direct threat. This is because secular liberalism Capitalism, by separating religion from life, has left man with only the material value to pursue in this world. At the level of international relations, this results in bitter rivalry for imperial conquest and world domination, building an increasingly unstable and fragile world order.

However, with the permission of Allah (swt), the Muslim Ummah shall soon arise and re-establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw) that shall reunify all Muslim lands, liberate her occupied territories, implement the Islamic sharia, restore the Islamic way of life, and carry the light of Islam to the entire world. It was the Khilafah State that previously created the conditions for peace and prosperity in the world during its one thousand years as the world’s leading power. This was because it was engaged not only in material advancement but also in ethical, humanitarian and spiritual elevation, able to balance all these values because of its adherence to Islam. But the Khilafah State shall soon be established again, with the permission of Allah (swt), and almost immediately join the ranks of the great powers on account of its great size, immense population, vast resources, unparalleled geography, and unique Islamic ideology. It shall work to confront, contain and calm the machinations of the disbelieving powers and once more create the conditions for peace and prosperity throughout the world.

The Emirate of Afghanistan comes under pressure from the West

In an interview with CNN this week, Afghanistan’s acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also a deputy leader of the Taliban, made a number of conciliatory statements towards America. According to commentary at

Acting Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani has said the Taliban regime in Afghanistan does not look at the United States “as enemies” and wants to have good ties with it but that they have reservations over Washington’s intentions based on its conduct…

“The period of the last 20 years was a situation of defensive fighting and war,” he said, recalling that when an agreement was reached between the Afghan Taliban and the Trump administration in Doha in February 2020, “we decided that we would not be talking about this”. He did not elaborate further as to what was not to be talked about.

The Taliban deputy chief then added that in the future, “we would like to have good relations with the United States and the international community, based on rules and principles that exist in the rest of the world”.

“And based on their arrangement, we have made [a] commitment with them,” he continued, adding that currently, “we do not look at them as enemies”.

But, he said, “based on their conduct, the Afghans have reservations about their intentions”.

“From our side, the freedom of the country and struggling for the country’s defence is a legitimate right, in accordance with international rules,” he said, reiterating that as of now, the Taliban did not consider the US an enemy.

The Afghan mujahideen fought bravely and sincerely against two superpowers these past decades, may Allah (swt) accept from them. And in ejecting America they refused to compromise on the implementation of Islam within their land. But what we are witnessing now is the limitations of the Emirate model that the Taliban have chosen to adopt in place of the Khilafah. The idea of an Emirate, though an Islamic concept, is really just a transitional arrangement in a situation when, for whatever reason, a province becomes separated from the Khalifah. In such a situation, we continue to acknowledge that the province implements Islam, but it is still deficient in being disconnected from the Khilafah State. The Prophet (saw) said, «من مات وليس في عنقه بيعة مات ميتة جاهلية» “Whosoever dies without a bay’ah on his neck dies the death of jahiliyyah.” The bay’ah, as referred to in the Sunnah, is the oath of allegiance owed to a legitimately established Khalifah, who is the imam, the ruler of all Muslims. The age of jahiliyyah is what preceded Islam, so to characterise a Muslim as dying the death of jahiliyyah is as if to say he never entered Islam; it is an evidence not of disbelief but of the severity of the sin.

Muslims must not be fooled into thinking that the world is in reality a Westphalian order of independent sovereign nation-states free to choose their own path and destiny. The world is, and always has been, mostly controlled by the great powers; the world order is more or less dictated by the world’s leading state, which is at this time the United States of America. It is not possible to build a truly independent nation-state within the Westphalian framework. The only solution to the predicament that Muslims face is to implement the full Shar’ii concept defined by Islam, that of the Khilafah State that shall transcend nation-state boundaries that have in fact been only recently imposed upon the Muslim Ummah by the imperialist disbelieving West, creating a state powerful enough to be counted amongst the ranks of the great powers, able to resist the Western-dictated world order and carve out its own unique path.

The idea of a Khilafah State in the twenty-first century is fantastical only to those who are unable to see beyond the very immediate. There is no rational reason that Muslims should not be able to establish the Khilafah State upon the method of the Prophethood if they so choose. To do so is not only a practical imperative but also a shar’ii obligation.