Will you please give information about Imperialism?

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Will you please give information about Imperialism?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Imperialism is the tendency to establish an empire. That is, the policy of expanding the borders of a state. The tendency to establish an empire dates back to the old ages of humanity. However, this tendency still exists. The imperialistic characteristic of empires has been more evident since the 15th century. The reason why they want to expand the borders is to grab the sources of wealth of other countries and to force people to work for them.   

Imperialism expresses the tendency to gather different peoples in terms of ethnicity and culture together under the authoritarian administration of a central power.    

It has various types like political imperialism, demographic imperialism, religious imperialism, cultural imperialism and economic imperialism. Political imperialismis based on an emperor's desire of expanding the borders of his country. Demographic imperialism expresses going toward other countries in order to settle the extra population in other countries. Religious imperialismis applied with the intention of spreading a religion. Cultural imperialismaims to spread a certain lifestyle and imperialism. The target of cultural imperialism is to replace a culture with another culture. Economic imperialismoriginates from the search of raw materials and commercial demand. Economic imperialism is a product of modern ages. It emerged with capitalism.

From the historical viewpoint, no kind of imperialism is seen in isolation. States generally use various models of imperialism together in order to realize their aims. Cultural imperialism helps the other types of imperialism to apply and complement them. 

European countries attempted intense imperialistic activity beginning from the 16th century due to the effect of especially the mercantilist movement. The Industrial revolution increased the desire of imperialism.

Wars are very expensive and they do not conform with the idea of freedom today; therefore, a subtler and masked form of imperialism is applied nowadays. This form, which is called modern imperialism, obtains interest by making a country dependent on another country in terms of economic and cultural life. Developed countries make developing countries dependent on them using this method and bring up the people of those countries through their culture and ideology; thus, they want to make those people unable to separate from them in terms of philosophy, political view and lifestyle.  

Imperialism made use of the mischief of nationalismthe most in order to break up the Islamic world in the last century. In addition, it has used various movements and policies. In order to realize the policies of mischief, it makes use of spies and "native" people that it recruits by providing them with certain financial advantages. These "native" people may seem to work in various fields; for example, some of them may be writers and try to incite people. Some of them may be involved in politics and try to direct the psychology of the community toward the interests of the imperialistic powers. They may become administrators and try to influence those who make decisions.   

First, imperialism eliminated the institutions that represented the oneness of the Islamic ummah in order to be able to break up the ummah. Then, it placed some insurmountable walls between Muslims using some Muslims. Thus, the relationships between Muslim communities were cut off or reduced to a minimum. The minimal relationships are at a level that cannot exceed the interests of imperialism and far away from the principle of "the oneness of the Islamic ummah". Besides, imperialism did not find this situation enough and made the Muslim communities that it drove away from one another by insurmountable walls separate from one another.

One of the worries of the West in the period of colonization was how to keep Islam under control. A solution presented to the French administration by Baron Carra De Vaux was "to break up the Islamic world by using ethnic and political differences and to make efforts to break Muslims' spiritual unity". This principle, known as "Divide and Rule", was used by all imperialistic powers and it is still used.

The period of colonization gave rise to new areas of hostility between Christians and Muslims. Western missionaries started to swarm to the Islamic land that was colonized. The West never forgot losing Istanbul to Turks in 1453. (That is why they call it "Constantinople" though so many centuries passed.)  Missionaries were determined to make the whole Anatolia a Christian land.  

Imperialism in the economic field was more obvious. Raw materials were bought at very cheap prices from the Islamic countries and taken to the West. After being processed, they were exported to Islamic countries at astronomical prices. Thanks to the multinational institutions like the World Bank and IMF, which were established afterwards, all of the countries were forced to join the Western economical system and many Islamic countries along with some other non-Muslim countries underwent debt crises. Many Middle East research centers were established in the West especially in the USA in order to acquit this economic imperialism. In addition to them, many centers and institutes of international relations and research were set up. Besides, private universities and schools were opened in many Islamic countries so that Western scientists would get experience on the spot and they would bring up new researchers having the western mentality. Social scientists classified the communities that they studied under the light of "Modernism" as "Modern" (Western countries) and "Traditional" or "Underdeveloped" (non-Western countries).

In conclusion, the war waged by the West against Islam should not be underestimated. In Middle Ages, Islam struggled against Christianity only. Crusades are not preferred today. There are some minor clashes between Christians and Muslims only in Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan. 

The threat from the secular West to the Islamic world is serious and the real cause of it is the fact that the strategic, military, economic and political interests of the Western world are strongly settled in the Islamic world. These kinds of interests with the packets of modernism took westernization and the western interpretation of Islam to those countries, causing serious problems. It is not possible to understand the anti-western attitude in the Islamic world without taking into consideration the anti-Islamic tradition in the West. The anti-Islamic tradition in the West prevented Islam from being understood, dishonored it in every occasion and hence misinformed the masses. If the West wants to establish sincere relations with Islam and Muslims, it needs to revise its understanding of Islam.   


1. Yeni Ansiklopedi, Timaş Publications.

2. Asaf Hüseyin, Batının İslamla Kavgası,  Pınar Publications.

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