We need institutions that accept our global diversity – We are Sunni and Shia, Ismaili and Ibadi, religious and secular – the outstanding work of the Ismaili Aga Khan Development Network

The Muslim world could also really benefit from some kind of overarching and truly multinational institutions, independent and well-funded organizations dedicated to discussing our differences and productively and deliberatively addressing ongoing challenges.

The point of the caliphate was to unite Muslims …

We need institutions that accept our global diversity – We are Sunni and Shia, Ismaili and Ibadi, religious and secular - AKDN

… elections, accountability, representation.

The model of an Islamic state has never worked. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is governmental, and doesn’t reach the rising numbers of Muslims who live as minorities.

We need institutions that accept our global diversity. We are Sunni and Shia, Ibadi and Ismaili, religious and secular.

We are confronted by common concerns—extremism and sectarianism, patriarchy and authoritarianism, climate change and poverty—even as we live all over the planet. We need a new kind of caliphate.

It must have a voice to challenge ISIS, and those who claim to act in our name, and use violence to achieve their ends. It must address the grim reality of authoritarianism and autocracy. It must allocate resources to find productive solutions to endemic problems.

Models for this 21st century caliphate include religious federations, global universities, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, the outstanding work of the Ismaili Aga Khan Development Network, as well as even a peace corps. Perhaps the end result will be a dynamic combination of all of these, funded independently of any government.

Capable of improving the world, not ruining it. Whatever its ultimate shape, its need cannot be denied. Nearly one hundred years after the Ottomans ended, the Sunni world has yet to find out how it will be defined.

Discover, Explore and Learn more by reading this interesting article at Quartz | Only a real Islamic caliphate can stand up to the sham of ISIL

Follow Haroon on Twitter at @ We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

Also read Prakash Nanda Reality Check article called Fighting terror through the Caliphate of Iqbal’s dream on CNN/IBN Live

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