Contents What is Nationalism Features of Nationalism Why Islam is Against Nationalism Conclusion
What is Nationalism?
Islam has prohibited tribalism or asabiyya. Tribalism is the ancestor of nationalism. Tribalism was the key factor why pagan Arabia was violent and brutal. Prophet came with Islam to eradicate this tribalism but even though Islam succeeded against paganism tribalism continued. Today tribalistic gulf rulers are also the major reason of Muslim suffering world-wide. Tribalism, nationalism and racism, an ethical philosophy which states moral actions as right and wrong, good and bad based on what empowers and supports the racial or national or tribal cohesion and survival irrespective of the consequences and rationality of such actions. Since nationalists see national strength as the only thing that makes a nation "good," nationalists will use any means necessary to achieve that goal. White supremacy is one form of nationalism and racism which has abused Bible and science to further white racial superiority and empowerment. Hindutva is another form of nationalism and racism (as Savarkar founder of Hindu nationalism called Hindus a race!) which has exploited Hinduism. Modern slogan such as “for sake of national interest” has been used to commits wars, war crimes, massacre and all sorts of unjust and unfair economic, political and social activities. US patriot act is one example or the Nazi Germany’s Gestapo activities another example or India’s RSS activities another example.
Features of Nationalism
Nationalism is the political face of racism. Nationalism and racism are interlinked. Nationalism gives geographical identity for a racial people who have become racists. Nationalism is thus followed by xenophobia and racism. Nationalism is based on propaganda and lie as they have always used propaganda and lie to further their xenophobia and racism. Examples will be foreigners’ threat to native demography or job industry even though data shows otherwise, even though foreigners are better at times in jobs than natives. Nationalism is also implicit shirk (polytheism) as they equate God, king and country as a trinitarian authority and validation of national existence. They portray these in the same level and authority with each other. Nationalist will also remember their country often as if they owe their existence to their country and not God. Nationalists are also blind to their country’s wrongs and evils.
Why Islam is Against Nationalism
Two major Quranic proofs that Islam is against nationalism are Quran’s obligation towards the oppressed and towards justice and rule of law. Nationalism will never pursue justice and freedom for the oppressed as these are detrimental to their racial and national status quo. Nationalists are apathetic towards the suffering of foreigners and abuse of justice. However, Quran is against these as clearly pointed out in Quran 4:135 and Quran 4:75. Quran 4:135 “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” Quran rejects family and blood preferences when it comes to doing justice for the wronged and the oppressed. Race, country, class or tribe are even more befitting to be rejected to uphold justice and equity. Quran 4:75 “And what is [the matter] with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and [for] the oppressed among men, women, and children who say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city of oppressive people and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and appoint for us from Yourself a helper?”
Quran obligates war to help the oppressed. This altruistic goal of Quran is against the selfish goal of nationalism which sees war as a way to colonize, subjugate and plunder others for national and racial empowerment. So, while Quran obligates to sacrifice finance and well-being of Islamic establishment for the sake of oppressed against the oppressors, nationalism obligates to sacrifice others for sake of their own selves and their identity.
Islam’s call is universal while nationalism and racism are always bound to a certain people. Islam is sourced from God while nationalism is sourced from the whims of racial people who want their dominance and arrogance. Islam proposes rational freedom and balanced inclusivity while nationalism shuns all forms of inclusivity and freedom as it sees foreigners (citizens or races) are threat and detrimental to native empowerment and survival. Nationalism makes use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia and flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays where as Islam rejects idolism and veneration of idolatry and materialism.