Religion or Nationality, Which Comes first?

History is full of religious bigotry. It was the cause of wars between countries as it was the cause of civil wars. Lebanon suffered from 15 years of civil war because of the struggle between Muslims and Christians. It is the source of unrest in many parts of India where Muslims and Hindus mount attacks against one another from time to time.

The international institutions like the UN seem to have failed to put a stop to Israel acts in Palestine and Lebanon. Some Muslims seem to have lost faith in them as they are put up by the west. To have a sense of unity, religion becomes a tool where a Muslim should defend a Muslim be it Shiaa or Sunni as long as they have a common enemy, namely Israel.

It seems that religion has become a means of protest and resistance for many people in many Islamic countries as they have become disenchanted with the policies of their governments. Some religious groups have affiliations or support for religious doctrines like those of Al-Qaeda. The statements made by Bin Laden or Al Zawahiri find more resonance than those made by political leaders. The daily violent killings in Iraq show that Shiaas and Sunnis are divided by religion. Iraqi nationality means little to them, as their country has become a battleground where they kill one another and ironically condemn Israel for killing Palestinian and Lebanese people during its military operations.

For a final note, nationality has become vague even in countries where there aren’t religious problems. Individualism has made many people think just of themselves. Some people live in clans or join clubs for a sense of identity and belonging. In modern societies, sport has become the national pride. Stadiums and sport channels are the most frequented venues. It seems many people want to have an easy life where game should take precedence over conflict. It’s better to see people in the street celebrating the victory of their national teams than lining up the streets to watch victorious armies returning home after ample killing and destruction.

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