Infidels Are Nationalists; Islamists are Supranationalists
Roger Scrunton explains why drawing new borders in the Middle East following the end of WWI didn't work out so well:
People often explain the relative absence of democracy in the Middle East by
arguing that the carving up of the region into territories bears no relation to
the pre-existing loyalties of the people.
In a few cases it worked. Ataturk, general of the Turkish army, was able to
defend the Turkish-speaking heart of the empire and turn it into a modern state
on the European model. Elsewhere, many people identified themselves primarily in
religious rather than national terms. Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim
Brotherhood in 1928, told his followers that bringing together the world's
Muslims in a supra-national Islamic State, a Caliphate, should be a top
The result of imposing national boundaries on people who define themselves in
religious terms is the kind of chaos we have witnessed in Iraq, where Sunni and
Shia fight for dominance, or the even greater chaos that we now witness in
Syria, where a minority Islamic sect, the Alawites, has maintained a monopoly of
social power since the rise of the Assad family.
By contrast Europeans are more inclined to define ourselves in national terms.
In any conflict it is the nation that must be defended. And if God once ordered
otherwise, then it is time he changed his mind. Such an idea is anathema to
Islam, which is based on the belief that God has laid down an eternal law and it
is up to us to submit to it: that is what the word Islam means: submission...
Makes perfect sense to me.
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