Response to nation states

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A theme that has come up in our class a lot is the idea of nation states,¬†which requires¬†loyalty, and that needs a reason. After the Paris attacks, we discussed how European nation states want homogeneous identity and Paris chose secularism. This leads to people affiliated with religion feeling apart from society. This can cause people to choose their primary identity marker to be religion. In other regions, the country chooses the religion as the unifying identity marker, but that too can cause problems, because there is no one way to practice a religion, but for it to be unifying they have to choose one way. Because religions in their nature can’t be homogeneous, this leads to the same problem of leaving people out of their own country.

I drew a map of the middle east, (only as an example, plenty of regions and countries do this too) and it shows how Islam can be misinterpreted and used to create an identity in a state. Islam is only a religion, and it is practiced in so many ways, as seen by the adjectives above, and it simply makes no sense to choose one adjective and apply it to a whole country, especially as the many different ways that people practice it contradict! It’s reasonable to affiliate a country with a religion, but only in an inclusive way, and to not require it, so that everyone can feel at home in their country.

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