By İbrahim Karagül

The utterances that “Muslims will be gripped by infighting,” “a state of war will take hold at the core of Islam” and the statement, “Islam’s civil war” are all gradually becoming reality.

Countries and administrators in the region — believing that they are promoting the interests of their own countries on the basis of what they assume to be true – are inadvertently contributing to the carve-up of cities and countries in the region.

The region’s weaknesses are used as justification for the waves of external invasion being experienced, and they also exploit the greed and expansionary dreams of the region’s countries to create the grounds for identity-based wars.

We will all become victims of such clashes and polarizing divisions unless we learn to look one step further ahead and foresee events a year and 10 years down the road, instead of obsessing about the past and present.

Within the next two years, we will be caught off guard again when the Gulf is engulfed in turmoil and Saudi Arabia is confronted with war. The same situation will apply when Turkey is faced with pressure from both the East and West.

The lack of political foresight remains the Muslim region’s greatest weakness. An opportunistic act of dividing the regional spoils lies behind these century-long calculations to invade our region.

Every few years a different country will be shred to pieces, so long as we fail to reverse the unfortunate winds that bring disintegration, dissolution and clashes. This is exactly why Syria is a global war. Once the Syria war ends, the waves of destruction will spread to the Gulf. This literally means a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Attempts are underway to regionalize the sectarian-based war. If this plan succeeds, tanks will reach the gates of the Ka’aba.

We can see the disaster approaching. If there is no emergency intervention, I believe Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries will be turned into another Syria, all our holy sites will be trampled underfoot, and Turkey, too, will incur severe wounds as a result of this great disaster.

Yes, the regional map is being redrawn after the lapse of a century. The map of Anatolia will also be redrawn if we fail to get involved in the redrafting of this map. The borders of almost all regional countries existing today will be redrawn.

Was it possible to imagine the Iraq of today 15 years ago? Was it possible to imagine the Syria of today 10 years ago? Was it possible to imagine the Yemen of today three years ago?

Our countries are under threat. Our cultures, resources, lands and cities are under threat. We are faced with the most depressing situation since the days of World War 1. This depression can be felt in every corner of the Islamic world, from Morocco to Indonesia. Our countries and storied cities are being turned into rubble.

Attempts are underway to make our identities synonymous with violence. Our values are being eroded. They wish to destroy our hopes for the future. A new wave of colonialism after the lapse of a century is tearing our region to shreds. Terror is not just bombing our streets, but also our minds. Terrorist organizations are being used to conduct covert operations and to intervene in our countries.

If we fail to maintain Turkey’s position as a place of shelter for everyone and as a stronghold for every country in this area, which has been termed a “chaos region,” we will be left with no shelter to protect us in the Muslim middle lands.

Every single person attending this meeting, from Africa to the Middle East to Asia, is a descendent of those who have written the history of humanity. You, the leaders of Muslim countries. You, the representatives of an extensive region that spreads from the shores of the Atlantic to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. You, the spokespersons of countries, which are home ancient cities, which have served as cradles of civilization and which have a wealth of traditions and experience. The chaos currently engulfing our region will grow, expand and impact us all tomorrow. Stop this negative descent. Come up with a plan that will extricate Muslims from this storm. Fight for democracy, freedom, welfare and justice. Protect your resources. Create solidarity and partnerships to confront global plunder.

You are the architects of both war and peace. You are responsible for both welfare and poverty. This region is our common nation and you should all protect this nation together. The showdown of power we are witnessing today portends one of the most painful clashes in the history of mankind. All current indications point to a grave future. Know that if you don’t act swiftly and halt this trajectory, all your countries will be affected in the future by this disaster, which creates deep wounds and denigrates human honor.

Leaders of the West and East! A horrific tragedy is unfolding right next door in Syria. A country is being destroyed. Legendary cities are being razed. Millions of stateless persons fleeing disaster are being buried at sea. Our shores are piling up with the corpses of children. Know that both history and this generation of millions of teary-eyed children and women from Aleppo, who had to abandon their country and seek shelter in refugee camps, will hold your countries and your policies to account in the future.

Find a solution to end the war in Syria. Find a solution for the chaos in Iraq. Stand up against policies designed to tear countries apart. In the eyes of humanity and in the pages of history, you will be responsible for each decision you make and every verdict you hand down. Leave behind a legacy that will be applauded. In the memory of the corpses of children washing up on your shores, put an end to disasters in our region, which will take on global proportions in the future. Heed the unified voice of billions of people!

Come together and build supranational structures and partnerships. Spring into action now. Spring into action to protect our countries, nations and cities. Our region is confronting very harsh truths and threats following the passage of a century. It is you who are representing your countries at this very difficult juncture in history. You shoulder a heavy responsibility. You are faced with making and implementing tough decisions. Take these decisions in solidarity. Share your strengths and resources. Hundreds of millions of people are watching your actions.

Draw up a plan to tackle the storm of chaos.