The Absurdity of Nationalism


 

The Absurdity of Nationalism

earth-day

I am better than you because of the fact that I was born on a piece of land deemed superior to yours by none other than ME. This land, more worthy of recognition, entitles me to feelings of pride that holds my head high and my nose in the air.  No average piece of dirt this is… Nononono. This place smells of honor and dignity; of power that once was and a power that will again be. This country of mine, her flag flutters in the wind with more majesty than mere cloth. It is as if God Himself chose the best and put them all in the borders of this nation.

I am better than you because of the blood that runs through my veins. Vessels engorged with the DNA of generations of glory and valor. Men around this world wish they could stand among us and the earth itself stands in admiration of the quality of the souls that WE produce. We have a history here. A past worthy of recognition and praise. Those who preceded us left a legacy untouchable.

I am better than you because of the culture I inherited from my ancestors is built on values not found anywhere else. Values like bravery, honor, chivalry, self-respect, hospitality and the like. In fact, my culture can even abrogate the word of God when it doesn’t agree. See, this tradition is timeless and tested. Who are we to change perfection? Especially when it has obviously worked for so long…

 I am from Pakistan or Palestine or Egypt or America or Lebanon or Syria or Jordan or Sudan or Libya or Indonesia or China or Bangladesh or Iran or Afghanistan India or Russia or England or France or Germany or one of the Koreas or one of the Caucuses or any other equally ‘the best’ country in this world. And I am better then you.

Dude, just shut up already! 

I don’t have the energy to explain this post BUT my BFF, ammar, will soon elaborate on his blog: http://idelbigreat.wordpress.com/ 

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~ by Yousaf on April 16, 2009.

14 Responses to “The Absurdity of Nationalism”

  1. This is great! I really like this post a lot mashallah and the picture fits so perfectly subhanallah lol. Looking forward to the elaboration of this in your next post inshallah 🙂

  2. Nationalism sucks, we all know that. Islam came to abolish nationalism. There is a difference between culture and nationalism that I am learning now. Culture is ok, as long as it doesn’t interfere with Islam.

    We shouldn’t forget where we were born or what we grew up with, because it is a part of who we are. I am pretty sure that we all, in some form or another, feel that we are better than others because we are Americans. Not better in the arrogant way, but better because we have an education, our food tastes better than theirs, etc. We weren’t created in different tribes and with different tongues to all become a single culture, rather, Islam unites us, while we are all different.

    I changed my perspective on this after I got married because of a number of factors. My new thought process is this: culture is a needed element, that cannot be shunned if the practices aren’t against Islam. Nationalism is whack, and will always be whack…
    Islam puts the right things in focus, WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT? Your country CAN be important to you as a Muslim, (I love America…) that is fine, but our connection to Allah and your Islam should be more important.
    When the scale becomes heavier on the country side, that is nationalism…we just have to make sure the scale is not balanced, but heavier on the Islam side
    🙂

    Random thoughts…

  3. Nationalism is absurd…110%

  4. EID! You are alive! 🙂 There are a couple of reasons I included ‘culture’ in this post. More often than not, ‘culture’ is susceptible to manipulation. ‘This is the way things should be.’ Says who??? Food, clothes and language are great but that is not the ‘culture’ i speak of. I speak of the ‘maroof’ amongst some that is forced upon others. And yes, America does this too.. ‘Democracy’ is the culture that they wish to impose on others because that is the ‘way things should be’ when that doesn’t work for other people. I do not feel I am better than anyone because I am American and I think it is absolutely wrong to feel that I am better than anyone because of the place that Allah chose for me to be born. It wasn’t up to me and therefore its dumb to be proud of something I had no control over. I’ll be proud of doing good things or earning a reward but not for just ‘being.’
    The propagation of culture in the Muslim community has alienated so many and leaves most feeling unwelcome because they do not understand those ‘norms’ that have developed and then are looked at funny because of their difference in values. Being ethnocentric is equally as absurd as being nationalistic.

  5. btw when you comin to jersey sucka? chillage action greatly needed 😀

  6. You’re a jerk Yousaf. This is the last time I tell you what my next post is going to be about before I write it. x-(

  7. Well. Hmm this was an interesting blog. I believe I read something about All-h breaking us into nations and tribes so we may recognize one another. Wonder what happened?! BTW, your poems were amazing at the MAS Expressions concert, By any chance will you be putting your “Pigeon” poem up???

  8. Great post; even though we should not be proud so much that we become arrogant, we need to be proud of our places. I think it’s natural to be proud of places we come from…and sometimes you can not help but feel that you are “better” than some other people. Not saying that it is the right thing to feel…but it’s just the way it is.

  9. That’s interesting, but what about Palestinians? If they dont celebrate their culture then Palestine will disappear : (
    I think it’s important to have Palestinian pride to a certain degree so that future generations will feel for Palestine and be proud of it. The Zionists try and say that Palestinians are just Arabs from either Jordan, or another neighboring country, but that’s not true. Of course, this should go without saying, Islam comes first. I dont know, the Palestine issue confuses things a little. I mean, I know ALL Muslims should try and help with the Palestinian issue, but they dont, so the Palestinians should then, right, I dont know, Allahu Alem.

  10. Pride is not the right word, you get what I mean Inshaa Allah.

  11. Taz- inshAllah Ill be putting the pigeon poem up soon.

    ‘The One’ – It is just my humble opinion (and obviously that means very little as I am far from knowledgable) BUT I dno not believe we should be proud of where we are from. What we have done maybe but it is still doesnt sit well that I can be proud of something I had no control over. And you do make it a good point that sometimes that is just the way it is but it doesnt meant that you or me have to live to that standard.

    YourSisterinFaith- it is just my personal belief which means that it can be wrong but I do feel that our role and duty towards Palestinians AND anyone being oppressed (From the people of Gaza to the poor in Sudan to the discriminated minorities in America) is to uphold justice and truth. I do not feel that Arab nationalism and/or Palestinian nationalism is the solution (in fact I actually believe that was one of the reasons we are in this mess in the first place). And Palestine may disappear as result, the same way nations disappeared before us but it will not mean the end of this deen or the Muslims that will be there. When I go to palestinian protests I am fighting for justice and equality and against oppression for my brothers and sisters, NOT solely for man-made borders and so that a flag could wave in the air.

    btw JAK for the comments 🙂 keep the discussion going!

  12. The Quran emphasizes the universal unity of mankind with the ayah “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same’ kind, and spread from these two many men and women.”(4:1) Yet subhnallah we forget that and divide ourselves based on national origin and even go as far as dividing based on towns within the same country!? 😦 The Quran clearly states that differences in birth-place, homeland and education do not affect the essence, and cannot replace universal unity by limited units so the differences in race, tribe, nation and family have no legal authenticity and they are not the basis of unity or criteria of superiority and inferiority but instead they are only the means of facilitating human. In the Quran Allah states “O you men! Surely We have created you of a male and a female and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with God is the one among you most careful of his duty.” (49:13) Thus, divisions into tribes and groups is for the purpose of knowing one another better, not for taking pride by degrading one another with that pride, showing love or hate, seeking superiority or engaging in disputes. The only criteria are faith and belief . I feel that its fine to take pride in your/ your parents culture on the basis of traditions/art because its a definition mechanism. There are different levels of pride and surely different definitions. Culture should never override our duty to Allah and our obligations as Muslims. Culture is indeed important but to a certain degree. Subhanallah… this topic of nationalism and division amongst Muslims based on national origin frustrates me so most because I experience it first hand every day at work… lord knows it burns when your “sister/brother fillah” doesn’t want your help because your not “of their kind”, what is “of their kind” on the day of judgment other then Muslim??!! I don’t understand :-/ It even goes as far as denying the union of two in marriage because of “national origin” … we have created hate amongst our own because we have this nasty “pride” of one being better than the other… Muslims have a universal mission, not a national one. Islam sets up a single society and rejects limited tribal and national units which only think of their own interests. The Ummah is like one body when one part hurts the entire body feels it so… are we feeling each others pain? Ok I’m sorry for the long post, I’m done Jazakum Allah Khair for your patience.

  13. I never thought about it that way. I completely agree with you, as long as the Muslims in that area are not oppressed than it doesn’t matter who is governing the land or what flag is raised (that kind of stung a little, I’m not sure if I can feel that detached with Palestine, but if that is the right way to think about it than may Allah allow me to think and feel that way). I’m still keeping my debka though! Your points are valid, I just never thought about it that way. Getting inside your head (through your posts) is really teaching me a lot so thank YOU (JAK) for the thought provoking posts.

  14. Of course we should care about ALL oppressed Muslims. Nationalism really does separate us and makes our ummah weaker. May Allah guide us to the straight path to jannah Inshaa Allah.

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