|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A frequent occurence in Twenty Minutes Into the Future settings, especially those with some version of The War on Terror. A strange coalition that seems to consist of most Islamic and/or Arab nations or just of numerous terrorist organizations (often themselves funded by a Western Ancient Conspiracy of some sort) excluding Pakistan, Turkey and Iran. (Sometimes, writers who Did Not Do the Research have Shia, Persian Iran uniting with Arab Sunni states like Saudi Arabia; the Islamic Republic of Iran has quite the record as a sponsor of terrorists, but they're generally not the same terrorists.)
This seems to often be used as a strange version of an Anonymous Ringer for nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other Southwest Asian or Middle Eastern states.
Prior to the 1980s, these tended to be secular military dictatorships or socialist/nationalist regimes (like the real-life abortive attempt to set up a United Arab Republic combining Egypt, Syria and Iraq, as well as Libya's attempt). Since the rise in fundamentalism, Iranian Revolution and especially 9/11, a more popular idea is to combine it into one huge poorly defined "Inevitable Caliphate" theocracy. This is al-Qaida's primary war aim, but it is probably not in the stars — at least not if Iran and Turkey have anything to say about it. Beyond that, al-Qaida is, at the end of the day, a lunatic fringe; most other Islamists are non-violent nationalists who probably have a worse view of Osama bin Laden than most Westerners ("You're making us all look evil!" is what they usually say), and al-Qaida itself--according to the CIA, MI 6, French Intelligence, Russian Intelligence, and pretty much everyone else--is down to about 300 guys on the run in the mountains of Pakistan.
Israel's state with this power around is rarely mentioned.
Type I: International, Governmental Entities
- Code Geass had the "Middle Eastern Federation". Not given much depiction; conquered by Britannia fairly early.
Films — Live-Action
- The monumentally-tasteless cult film Americathon parodies this trope, featuring an anti-Western, oil-hoarding Hebrad coalition of Middle Eastern states, that includes both Islamic nations and Israel.
- The Ender's Shadow series has one of the main characters made Caliph. This one's borderline, since the Caliphate is not formally a government; instead, it's a secret, pan-Islamic shadow government that counts Israel as its closest ally. It becomes more public in Shadow Puppets, when the Caliph conquers India and defeats China.
- The Caliphate in Stuart Slade's TBOverseactually subverts this trope in that the stories show the proposed caliphate to be unworkable due to its internal contradictions and it collapses in barely more than a decade.
- In Tom Clancy's Executive Orders the ayatollah leading Iran manages to unite his country and Iraq with an eye towards further expansion but it doesn't last.
- Note that Iraq doesn't do this willingly - Saddam (the book was written prior the 2003 invasion of Iraq) is assassinated by an Iranian deep sleeper agent, paving the way for Iran to move in and take over.
- In Wild Cards, the Caliphate of Arabia runs from Sudan to Egypt, although some independent arab states still exist. The Caliphate becomes a real problem when it decide to stop selling oil to western countries.
- Some of H. Beam Piper's short stories mention an Islamic Caliphate, or "Kaliphate" in "The Mercenaries," where it's one of the world's four great power blocs. The Caliphate in the TFH story "The Edge of the Knife" is clearly pro-Western in 1973, shortly before World War III.
- The Caliphate in Lee Konstantinou's satire Pop Apocalypse.
- In Dark Future there's the The Pan-Islamic Congress. Due to the books primary setting being North America, they only get a passing mention in the news bulletins in Krokodil Tears and Demon Download, but the capital is Tehran, the Congress is currently occupying Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. They're also pursuing NeilGaiman for his blasphemous work Tintin In The Land of The Ragheads.
- Tom Kratman's Caliphate has this ultimately taking over Europe as well as the Middle East, as the enemy of the Imperial States of America.
- The FTL Newsfeed near-future news program that ran on the Sci Fi Channel in the mid-1990s had a Holy Islamic Federation covering the whole of Africa (except Fortress Israel).
- The Middle Eastern Alliance in the Battlefield-inspired Tabletop Game Battlefield Evolution.
- Shadowrun had several Type I's. Turkey, Cyprus and Syria were taken over by militant Muslim sects and formed an alliance called the Second Jihad to launch an invasion of Europe. Later, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain joined together to form the nation of Arabia.
- There's a reformed Islamic Caliphate in GURPS Transhuman Space. Sunni only, and a bit of thought has gone into how it happened; it was formed by a number of moderate middle eastern countries. By no means does this cover the entire region. Iran (which has become secular by 2100) is specifically excluded. Despite this the author has gone on record that he wishes he'd thought of a different name.
- The setting for Ground Zero Games's Full Thrust, Dirtside II, and Star Grunt II have something called the Islamic Federation as one of the factions, which evidently controls the Middle East and north Africa (having swallowed the territory of Israel along the way), along with a number of colony planets. In a bit of a twist, the IF has problems with the breakaway Saeed Caliphate.
- Israel in the setting was destroyed by nuclear terrorism, but has a (literal) Spiritual Successor in the form of the New Israel colony at Epsilon Indi.
- The default campaign setting for the miniatures wargame Tomorrow's War has two, both founded in the mid-23rd century after the 2nd Iran-Iraq war, the United Arab Emirates consists of the original UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, and what's left of Iraq and is largely Sunni and moderate. The Union of Islamic Theocracies, consisting of Iran, Basra (Shiah parts of Iraq), the Indonesian Islamic Republic, Sudanese Islamic Caliphate, and Islamic Republic of Bangsamero, is considerably more fanatical.
- The Middle Eastern Coalition from Battlefield 2 is the Trope Namer.
- A more polished, professional-looking version appears in the Project Reality mod.
- UFO Alien Invasion has The Middle-Eastern Alliance. Its existance is a major suprise to its creators, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Afghanistan, who originally created to defend against expansionist China. By the end of the Second War "their position was simply too good to allow it to crumble."
- In Hearts of Iron II, you can 'liberate' countries whose territory you conquer. If you conquer the Mideast, you can created a united Arab Federation which includes the territory from Egypt to Yemen/Oman and Iraq. (But not Iran/Persia, Turkey, or Libya.)
- In Tropico 4, "the Middle East" is one of the external powers you need to deal with.
- Alternate History Dot Com frequently parodies this trope (especially if it's linked to Did Not Do the Research on the author's part), resulting in hilarious Memetic Mutation terms like "the Random(id) Caliphate", "the Obligatory Supercaliphate", etc.
- the Arab League, although it's really quite a bit weaker in unity than other such bodies like the European Union.
- The Islamic Caliphate that existed while Europe was in The Dung Ages, which Al Qaeda and other pan-Islamic organizations ostensibly wish to restore, and add all Sunni nations to.
- Keep in mind that the Caliphate broke apart after a few generations due to the Sunni/Shiite schism.
- Uniting the Arab countries (at minimum Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, and usually Mauritania and most of Sudan) is the goal of the various pan-Arab/Arab nationalist movements; this includes (at the soft end) democratic Arab socialism and (at the hard end) the Ba'ath Party (which rules Syria and used to rule Iraq under Saddam). Under no circumstances were Turkey or Iran invited. There have been quite a few attempts in real life to achieve this. In chronological order:
- The Arab Federation, a confederation consisting of Iraq and Jordan for a short period in 1958. This one was unique in that it was bound dynastically: both Jordan and Iraq were monarchies under the Hashemite dynasty (King Faisal II of Iraq and King Hussein of Jordan were second cousins). However, Faisal II was overthrown in a republican coup in 1958, making the Federation a dead letter.
- The United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria between 1958 and 1961. This one had a promising start, but President Gamal Abdel Nasser, despite his personal popularity with the Arab street--even in Syria--and his government fumbled the details. He favored fellow Egyptians over Syrians in high posts, and generally treated Syria as a junior partner--or to be more precise, as a group of new Egyptian provinces--rather than an equal partner. The union was dissolved by a coup in Syria, supported by the country's disgruntled business community and bureaucrats, that reasserted Damascus' independence. Egypt continues to use the formal description "United Arab Republic" until after Nasser's death in 1970; in 1971, it adopted the description "Arab Republic of Egypt".
- The United Arab States, a wider and more loosely-connected confederation of the above UAR that also included Yemen and existed during the same three years.
- The Federation of Arab Republics (1972-1977), a federation between Libya, Egypt, and Syria, which Sudan also intended to join. It was ratified by all three countries, but ultimately fell apart because its leaders couldn't agree on the specific terms of the merger. The stalemate in the 1973 War, which some Egyptians and Syrians blamed on the failure of promised Libyan (and Algerian) assistance to materialize,  did not help matters. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, was Egypt's decision to enter peace talks with Israel, announced by Sadat's trip to Jerusalem and speech before the Knesset in November 1977.
- The United Arab Emirates (which still exists to this day), formerly known as the Trucial States, also counts technically. Although internationally considered a single country, it is actually a relatively loose federation between seven different Emirates in the region.
- The Ottoman Empire, though Turkish-run rather than Arab and generally more secular than the Islamicist Coalition typical of this Trope. From the 16th up to the end of World War I, the Ottoman Sultan also claimed the title of Caliph. In fact, the last Ottoman Sultan managed to still maintain the title of Caliph for about three weeks after the abolition of the Ottoman Empire.
Type II: Non-Governmental, Terroristic Entities
Films — Live-Action
- Subversion: The Ten Rings organization in The Movie of Iron Man appears to be this (despite speaking languages such as Urdu and Romanian), but the novelization refers to the head of the organization, Mandarin, who is Mongolian.
- Of course, this is blindingly obvious to anybody who know anything about the comics.
- The Global Liberation Army from Command and Conquer: Generals is supposedly a terrorist organization, but in reality it goes far beyond that, with armored divisions, entire armies of soldiers, a (small) airforce, chemical and biological weaponry, weapons factories, and most of the Middle East and Central Asia under their control. They're so powerful that they conquer the Middle East and launch a full invasion of Europe!
- The Independent Liberation Army from the Real War series.
- In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer is concerned about Bart's new Jordanian friend, simply because the boy is Muslim. Homer has a dream where "their kind" takes over the world, and turns Springfield into a Qurac...and wakes up screaming. Eventually, (emphasis on "eventually") he learns that Bart's friend and the parents of Bart's friend are just regular people, not terrorists bent on World Domination.
- They were supposed to make an amphibious attack on the Coastal Plain; whether this would have achieved anything directly is doubtful, but it would probably have relieved pressure on the Egyptians and Syrians in the Sinai and Golan.