Thursday, 23 June 2011
I think it is helpful to think of Islam as being a kind of borderless nationalism. The empathy Muslims display towards Muslims living in other countries is exactly like the kind of empathy non-Muslims normally display towards the fellow citizens of their own countries. The Arabic word Ummah - typically used to refer to the community of Muslim believers worldwide - in fact means 'nation'. Koran 3:110 says:

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.


This is why Islam causes so many problems. Because the world is organised around the nation state paradigm. Many of our legal and social norms are based around that paradigm and the expectation that it is accepted by everyone. Various utopian movements, like communism, have challenged that paradigm but have not been able to display the enduring force and emotional pull of traditional nationalism. Islam has.

Part of the explanation for why Islam has been able to do this may lie in the territorial imperative that is deeply ingrained in Islam. In contrast to Christianity, whose doctrines disavow state power ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's"), Islam explicitly seeks territorial aggrandisement and control. The purpose of jihad is to establish Shariah rule, in other words to bring new territory under Islamic control. The world is divided into the House of Islam, where Shariah prevails, and the House of War, where it does not prevail yet. Muslims believe it is only a matter of time before Islam prevails in any one specific locale and indeed all over the earth. So, although, Islam may seem to be divorced from the nation state paradigm and the emotional attachment to place on which it is grounded, it is not really. It is just that Muslims have a larger conception of the space that is theirs; it is the whole planet. And all they have to do, they believe, is fight us, outbreed us and wait until they inherit it.

This is why there is no such thing as a British Muslim, or a French Muslim or a German Muslim, and why there can never be. Muslims are already citizens of another country - the Ummah - albeit one that has no clearly defined borders. As the world comes to terms with the threat Islam poses to the rest of the human race, I believe this understanding should be part of the solution. Muslims should be formally stripped of the citizenship of whatever country they are living in or whose passport they hold and legally classified as citizens of the Ummah instead, a non-physical country.

This legal distinction will make it easier to give Muslims the special attention they deserve, for example in airport checks. Countries will naturally want to place special restrictions on citizens of the Ummah. Since the proposal accords with Islamic doctrine itself, it could even be presented as a pro-Muslim gesture; some of the radical Muslim outfits may even support it.

2 comments:

Ralph Lynn said...

Yes Cheza, "This is why there is no such thing as a British Muslim, or a French Muslim or a German Muslim, and why there can never be. Muslims are already citizens of another country - the Ummah". I too have come to realise this in recent weeks. I was going to write on it, but you beat me to it! They are muslims in Britain.

Shaunantijihad said...

The Dar you translate as House, can also be translated as Nation, as in, the Nation of Islam versus the Nation of War. Which sits nicely with the rest of your point, and which I fully endorse.

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