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Tension b/w National & Islamic Identity

I'm talking about those Muslim countries which became national countries only recently and which had muslims residing there for centuries.


It is one of the tragedies that have befallen this ummah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that after their encounter with West and its subsequent disintegration Muslims have started to invoke same old jahili (ignorant) slogans of their nationalism - being Iranian, Pharaohic Egyptian, Ottoman Turkish, etc - as sort of replacement with their everlasting Islamic identity. So this is a new phenomenon. Seyyed Hossein Nasr in this talk talks about this tension in Iran where some modernist Iranians, most of them miles away from Iran living in San Fransisco, etc., are maligning Islam and are making these false claims that Islam was thrust upon them. He argues that how can 50k Arab Nomads convert millions of Iranians, and rest of people from China to Iraq. In fact, it is a disgrace, a slap on the face of the ancestors in these countries who although took some time to integrate completely with Islam, so no clash with their multiple identities. Talking of identities, Amartya Sen argues in his Identity and Violence, that people have multiple identities. Conflict arises when a person has an irreducible identity.


This invoking of slogans of days of ignorance is accompanied by the belief that Qur'an has nothing to offer to Muslims and their problems (better to be called diseases in Islamic context); hence we'll look towards West and progress. I do not see any other source of impetus for these attitudes in many Muslim countries than Western thought paradigm, channeled through its educational systems. Modernist people try their best to rip off any Islamic sentiment or idea that may be encompassing, or partially part of, movements, institutions, in Muslim countries, of past or present, to prove absence of Islam in the lives of people or duality in Islam between worldly and heavenly. They think they're "unreasonable folks" who can think independently but they're perhaps worst slaves of every notion or theory issuing from West, because they're destroying one identity they can possibly belong to.


(To be continued....)

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