Neither Nationalism nor Islamism but Humanism
By Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
September 14, 2013
Three “isms” in one line would beg the proper explanation of each “ism”. First, what is nationalism? It is the mobilization of a nation, which is a group that identifies itself such as, based on a shared understanding of a common culture, history, land and descent, in pursuit of political goals. These typically include national survival and self-rule.
Islamism, although, refers to the political use of Islam; I would define it as a group identity in which members of the Muslim community are part of one family while others are not; they (non-Muslims) are the outsiders.
And finally humanism is the doctrine which states that people’s duty is to promote human welfare, without any bias against any religion, caste, creed, colour or sex. The most important thing to focus upon is humanity.
Now when these three “isms” have been defined we can proceed further. We have been created (or evolved!) in such a way that we always tend to divide people or things based upon some characteristics. Our brain is hard-wired into focusing at things which are of our importance and ignoring those things which are not relevant to us. It has been evolved in such a way so as to meet emergency situations effectively.
Here comes the importance of groups and identity. We are, at one time, members in a variety of different groups: members of our nation, various professional associations, teaching group, student group, religious group, sex group, financial group etc. As long as these identities do not clash with each other, we do pretty fine. But as soon as there are antithetical demands among various groups then we feel the heat and we don’t know what to do. If pressed immensely, we choose, consciously or unconsciously, that group which is the most important for us and our well being.