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|Timeline : Superpowers|
|Official Language||Arabic & Turkish (de jure)|
|Population Density||17.24 inhb/km2|
|Area||5,484,000 sq km|
|Emperor||Caliph Falim Al-Abbas|
|GDP per ca.||
$57,500 per person
|Territory||OTL Iran; Iraq; Syria; Eastern Turkey; Kuwait and Arabian Peninsula.|
The Baytiyyad Caliphate (al-khilāfah al-‘bāytīyyah or Caliphate of the House) is the most modern Islamic state in a continuous line dating back to Muhammad. Although ruled by a Turkish elite, its customs, language, and populace are primarily Arabic. Overall, the structure of this society is a mingling of Arab, Persian and Turkish peoples with their traditions, influenced to a weak degree by Western Hellenism.
Early growth of the old Islamic Caliphate reached a level unseen in history, one that would not be beat until the ascendance of Gheghis Khan. During the Hijra, the Muslims were an insignificant band of exiles and the Arabs themselves were merely a loose assortment of tribal cities. Within ten years, followers of Muhammad conquered the entire Arabian Peninsula, slowing not even slightly on their prophet's death.
Their rapid expansion snuffed out the last Persian dynasty, fought Rome to a standstill then pushed the warlike Germans deep into their homeland. It took a complete fracture of the Islamic state to halt their outward progress.
Modern Arabs are the descendants of these Muslims. A proud people, they have fostered a culture of non-violence both as a means to keep internal stability and protect themselves from the destructive wars of the other great powers.
Nevertheless, the Caliphate is a mighty state with an ample population and vast natural resources. Much of the industrialization of second class countries like the UCC and Zulu Republic was fueled by Arabic oil. In theory, many states owe their modern condition to this country.
In 862, the Shi'ah Caliphate expelled the last Sunni Muslims from the Middle East, opening a new age of unity within Arabia. This united Islamic kingdom gathered steam for two centuries before collapsing in 1091 under the onslaught of nomadic Turks migrating from the Orient.
Governors in the new Turkish dominion adopted Islam to appease their subjects and focus their attentions on expansion and development. Their influence had been shattered by the loss of Mecca in the 12th century. Turmoil consumed the Arab, Persian and Turkish world.
The birth of the Baytiyyad Caliphate came after the assassination of Caliph Agatharman Ibn Battim by agents of the Roman Empire. This was a chance for a half-Arabic cousin of the Caliphs, who had widely accepted descendance from Muhammad, to take power. As a secret ally with Rome, the new Caliph negotiated the return of Muhammad's body and Mecca for a fair price.
His tolerance of ethnic diversity and heritage in the two major races of the region made the new Caliph immensely popular. He spoke to the people of a dawn of a new age, "where Arab and Turkish power is united into one house, the House of the Prophet, for the first time in centuries. Once more, Allah's people has his divine guidance." In this speech, the Caliph declared his rule to be that of "the House", naming his empire the Baytiyyad Caliphate, the Caliphate of the House.
He adopted an (admittedly disliked) submissive policy to Rome but initiated the Pax Arabia of the next century. This lasted until the impinging of the Khmer on Arab and Mongol soil.
This conflict in Asia slowly evolved into a global war by the end of the 17th century, a war the Baytiyyads promptly lost to the Khmer and their allies. Since their defeat, the Baytiyyads have returned to their policy of promoting peace with the West and East, siding with the mighty Rome when these interests are in conflict. Their success in avoiding the last world war, the only state to do this, can only be credited to their national pacifist policies.
Government & Politics
Supreme leader of the government and the state, the Caliph (خليفة) is the reigning head of a hereditary monarchy descended from the original House of Muhammad through Ibrahim, the son of Muhammad. A reigning Caliph, while not an absolute monarch, can enforce laws according to his interpretation, command the armed forces, and start diplomatic mission with any foreign nation. The limit on his powers, like that on the Roman Caesar's, is an inability to officially promulgate or propose new laws.
Legislation is the right and duty of the Qadi al-Shura, a council of the Islamic community's ulama (Islamic scholars). In the technical sense of legislation, the ulama are hardly legislators. Their sole power is establish a definite and final interpretation of the Qu'ran and Shariah (Islamic Law) for application to a specific social context. This process of AQL sets permanent solutions to legal disputes and prohibitions for all Muslims. In this way, the law of the Caliphate is the only legal system that claims jurisdiction over its state's citizens as well as non-citizens. There is no other system of law over the Caliphate than interpreted Shariah.
The office of Caliph is continuous with the Arabic office of the same name, one which originated from the time of Muhammad when his son, Ibrahim, took the title. Turkish rulers held the title before the House took power in the name of ethnic equality. Alternative names for the leader of the Middle East are Sultan of Sultans and Padishah both of which proclaim a Caliph greatest of all kings. In the same way, Caliphas used the name Shahanshah when speaking in their capacity as ruler of Persia.
Besides the ulama and Caliph, the Baytiyyad Empire is governed by a parliament called the Majlis al-Shura. It consists of 600 members of the Turkish elite, assembled for governorship of the country. In pre-modern days, the Sultans of the Majlis governed from their district (sultanate) directly but modern transportation allows them to get together on a weekly basis in Mecca to discuss matters of state. Their primary power is to locally enforce Shariah within their sultanate, sometimes by bringing the Caliph's orders into their region.
Historically, the Sultans formed this Majlis to keep the powers of the first Caliph in check. Their original goal was to maintain the independence that the aristocracy enjoyed under purely Turkish Caliphs and thus their assemblies were informal. All power for the Majlis lay in the individual powers of the Sultans. In the intervening years, Caliphs have granted more and more power to the Majlis.
In an interesting reversal of roles, Caliphs are more strongly regarded as representatives of the common people than the Majlis. The reason for this is that, since the Turkish conquest of Arabia, an aristocracy of Turks has kept the people under their authority, influencing their own Caliphs in many ways. Today, it keeps the Caliph in monitors the actions of the Caliph and ensures that he pays politically for any grievous mistakes. This serves to maintain a certain kind of political balance in the Caliphate - not one of legislative and executive power, but of centralized power and federated power.
Turkish military power is overshadowed by the superpowers that dominate global politics. While Arabia is defended by a potent army on land and modest navy in the Persian Gulf, it cannot muster the manpower to compete with other states. However, as a national security force, maintaining order in the homeland, there is no greater guardian of the Islamic people. The Caliphate's military brilliantly serves its purpose.
Baytiyyad ground forces are divided into 3,600 bölük (), each under the control of a Bolukbashi (). There is no organized army on the ground, only these regiments and their loyalty to the Caliph. As precarious as this sounds on paper, the regiments are funded solely by the government and staffed by officers from the ranks of the Turkish nobility, making a military coup no more likely than in other countries.
Separate from the bölük are the ten Liva (brigades) of the Yeniçeri (يکيچرى). This military order is directly led by the Caliph and acts as a sort of personal guard for the House. Children are volunteered at a young age by citizen families for preparation to join this special forces organization. After a thorough medical exam, the children are raised in a Spartan lifestyle and taught absolute loyalty to Islam. When they grow up they become part of the most highly trained military force the human race has ever developed. A Ferik (General) that leads each liva will be among the closest people in the Islamic world to the Caliph.
Overseeing the operations of these military unites from a political perspective is the Müşir ( or مشير), usually a close companion of the Caliph. Every five years, the office of Müşir goes to someone else of the Caliph's choosing. Between the swearing in of two different people, the Müşir cannot be removed from his post by anyone, so in the event of a severe indiscretion, he can only be detained until the end of his term. While this law may seem cumbersome, even dangerous to national security, it allows the Müşir to make difficult decisions without reproach. Historically, this has permitted the Caliphate to make military decisions that no other country could muster, such as challenging a nuclear-armed Mongol Empire and ruthlessly fighting socialism within Arabia. As a historical fact, this rule has greatly contributed to the country's stability.
Defense pacts with Rome and Japan give the Caliphate an additional edge in maintaining internal order and avoiding external threats. The western border with Rome has not been crossed with mal intent for centuries and the Red Sea remains calm. This frees the Baytiyyids to focus their efforts on defending their border with the Mongols. A web of anti-aircraft installations line the Persian front, supplementing the Caliphate's meager 158 fighter jets.