The Turkish-Islamic Union Will Speed Up Joint Ventures

The economies of Muslim nations contain differences in structure and functioning. Some nations' economies depend upon mineral resources, such as the members of OPEC, while other nations' depend upon agriculture. These differences are also reflected, to some extent, in their social structures, such as the widely varying degrees of rural and urban populations. Developing complementary relationships and helping each other in their respective areas of expertise can turn these differences into a source of riches. All of this will be possible with the Turkish-Islamic Union.

Joint ventures and project partnerships will be an important step in the right direction, for they will enable countries to benefit from one another's experiences and the income earned from investment projects will benefit all of the participating countries. Such mutual financial support is compatible with Islamic morality, for helping the needy and having a sense of social responsibility are important characteristics that Muslims strive to acquire. Many verses in the Qur'an remind Muslims to watch over the needy.

Society's internal cohesion must be extended to international relations. As international cooperation within a partnership cannot be one-sided, employment and income levels will rise in both countries. For example, one country will produce oil and another one will process it, and agriculturally dependent countries will be able to import the food they need from agriculturally developed countries. A manpower-poor country's need will be met by another Islamic country, while rich countries will be able to invest in and help out a manpower-rich country that does not have enough jobs for its people. This will be to the benefit of both. Sharing know-how and experience will increase prosperity, and all Muslims will benefit from technological developments.

Joint ventures that realize the Islamic world's unification of opportunities and means will enable Muslims to produce hi-tech products. The Islamic common market will make it possible for Muslim-made products to be marketed in other Muslim countries without the hindrance of customs, quotas, and other cross-border obstacles. The marketplace will grow, the market share and exports of all Muslim nations will rise, industrialization will speed up, and economic development will bring progress in technology. When all of this comes to pass, Muslim nations will operate as a consortium against other investment groups and will become an important part of the global economy.

All of these can be realized only under a central authority's leadership and coordination. Achieving this will be possible if Muslim nations adopt the Qur'an's values and the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Sunnah, or, in other words, if they adopt Islamic culture. The Turkish-Islamic Union must lead the way to this cultural awakening, as well as the resulting political and economic cooperation.

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