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In the Name of God بسم الله

Nationalism: The Destroyer Of Islam

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(bismillah)

(salam)

Dear brothers, sisters, friends, comrades, companions, and the odd imperialist spy (*cough* Spriglief *cough*):

When we talk about ideas that are damaging to Islam, most Muslims think only on a very micro level. For example, they may say that alcoholism is anti-Islamic, or that sexual content in movies is anti-Islamic. They rarely care to look into the roots of such things. Meaning, they don't bother to think that perhaps these are inevitable outcomes of capitalist society, and that therefore capitalism is anti-Islamic and that we don't need to bother to focus on the outcomes of it.

Then there are those Muslims who recognize the existence of anti-Islamic ideologies. I think most of the people here fall under that category. I think most of us would agree that capitalism is anti-Islamic. Same with fascism or Marxism. These ideologies are all inherently anti-Islamic; anti-Islamic at their very core.

And yet, for some reason, in our rejection of these ideologies, we have ignored an ideology far more influential than them; an ideology which is no less anti-Islamic: nationalism.

Nationalism is overlooked. It is seen as a fact of life. We are all expected to love our country at the expense of other countries, and anyone who claims to not share in this belief is accused of being disingenuous.

Has anyone stopped to ask: is nationalism accepted in Islam? Is it in any way possible for one to reconcile nationalism and Islam?

What made me want to address this issue was two things. Firstly, Brother "thecontendedself" raised this issue in this topic, and it made me realize that there are people who need to know that they are not alone in being internationalists rather than nationalists. Secondly, because while I was in the chatroom tonight a close friend of mine was speaking out against the IRI and accusing it of being an aspiring Persian Empire in an Islamic guise. Inshallah I will address the fallacy of this view in due time. For now, I simply want to answer the question I raised above: is nationalism accepted in Islam?

First we must define nationalism. I am not an educated man, and I am not familiar with how historians or political scientists may define nationalism. However, I think from simple observation one may reach the conclusion that nationalism is, essentially, the belief in the primacy of the nation. This means -- on the individual level -- the primacy of ones national identity over any other possible sources of identity, and -- on the societal level -- the primacy of a nation’s national interest over any other possible consideration.

If my definition is correct, and I believe it is, then we see – before even consulting the Qur’an – that there must be a conflict between nationalism and Islam. The commonality between all religions is that they believe themselves to be truthful, and to be universal. Knowing this, why would a religion allow itself to play second-fiddle to country-worship? Why would the universal truth surrender itself to geography? Only a deviated religion would try to amalgamate itself with nationalism, and although we have seen countless examples of this in history (particularly in Europe), we know that only deviation and corrupt religious leadership permits such a situation to persist. Otherwise, it is self-evident that religion itself cannot possible endorse its own subjugation and subordination.

From my limited understanding, I feel that to become convinced of Islam’s rejection of nationalism, one does not even need to consult the sunnah of the Prophet (S) and the Ahlul-Bayt (A). The Qur’an itself has resoundingly spoken out against nationalism, which to me indicates that the seriousness of this issue is so great that God must express it directly to us – repeatedly.

I will post some ayahs to illustrate this point.

Surah Al-e Imran (3), Ayahs 104-105:

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاخْتَلَفُواْ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.

And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.

Surah al-Madi’ah (5), Ayah 47:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَآ آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

Surah Yunus (10), Ayah 19:

وَمَا كَانَ النَّاسُ إِلاَّ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَاخْتَلَفُواْ وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ فِيمَا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

And mankind was not but one community [united in religion], but [then] they differed. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ.

etc...

By my count, there are four or five other times where God makes such references. I won’t bother citing the other ones; we have all read the Qur’an and I am sure we are all familiar with them (as much as many like to overlook them). Islam is against nationalism; this much is clear. What I find most interesting is that, in some of these ayahs, we get a sense that the very notion of conflicting national identities is a test. Meaning, nationalism is a sinful inclination that we must resist just as we would resist any other sinful inclination. God certainly watches as the Somalians and Ethiopians dispute over territories, just as God watched when, years ago, the Russians and Ukrainians each tried to claim the Soviet Black Sea Fleet as their own, or years before that when Germany and France each claimed the Alsace-Lorraine.

The Qur’an’s eloquent way of dealing with this matter makes it quite clear: nationalism and Islam are not compatible. God has contempt for nationalism and national consciousness.

It is very late and I am very tired. I devote way too much time and energy to this website (apparently only to have my heart broken by people who do not care to understand the worldview of Emam Khomeini which we in the IRI are following today), but tomorrow inshallah I will post the second installment of this short story, which will deal with Emam Khomeini’s position on nationalism and the way in which his position as been reflected in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic. I will give special attention to the rise in anti-Iranian sentiment in parts of the Arab world, and respond directly to the Arab nationalists’ objections against the IRI.

Ya Ali

Edited by baradar_jackson
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(bismillah)

Dear ones:

Today I wanted to address the issue of recent accusations against the IRI (i.e. the IRI being labeled an aspiring “Persian Empire” in Islamic guise).

But as I was going to sleep, I had more thoughts on the nation and nationhood and I wanted to first post these thoughts before moving on.

There are different ways for a nation to come into being, and there are different means of forging national consciousness. Although the very concept of nationhood is something that we should de-emphasize, we should also recognize that the basis for some nationhoods is stronger than others, and this is partly why some countries have come to control the world while others have remained powerless and destitute.

Nationhood has always existed in some form or another; people have always claimed loyalty to a particular tribe or clan. Far before the modern European notion of a nation-state – with its impenetrable borders and centralized structure – came to dominate the world, we had ideas of nationhood and nationalism.

A nation comes into being due to some form of common identity binding a particular people. This bond may be based on language, ethnicity, geography (e.g. a plateau or an island), history, or ideology. In France (Gaul, as it was known then), national identity arose out of the Frenchmen’s self-perceived distinctness from the Holy Roman Empire to the East (identity by negation). In Germany, Hitler justified the Anschluss (German-Austrian reunification) by saying that Austrians spoke German and that thus Germany and Austria should not be kept apart (identity by language). In Vietnam, national identity was formed through a combination of ancestor-worship (which places emphasis on ones ancestral land) and constant struggle with invading imperial powers (Mongolia, China, France, the United States, and the like).

What I have stated above are seen as more “natural” nationhoods. There are then what is seen as “unnatural” nationhoods. Although Islam does not recognize any nationhood as natural or unnatural (because this very notion conflicts with tawhid, which is perhaps the most important pillar of Islam), this distinction is very important for people in the West, and therefore I feel the need to mention it.

In Yugoslavia, many different nationalities, religions, religions were united under a personality cult: the cult of Josep Broz Tito. His popularity and his iron-fisted rule made the different peoples in Yugoslavia live peacefully beside each other for many years. His death, however, almost instantaneously dissolved Yugoslavian national identity and caused the country to become engulfed in the flames of civil war.

In the USSR, a very vast territory – historically united under Russian imperial rule, later united under the red flag – tried to forge an ideological nationhood. Meaning, all of the many nationalities of the Union were made to unite under a particular ideal (namely, the socialist ideal as espoused by Lenin). This form of nationalism also exists in the United States: American nationality is a civic nationality, defined by ideals of individualism, capitalism, and liberalism. The American version of this form of nationhood has lasted longer because the US did not try to radically change the habits of long-settled people, as the Soviet Union did (particularly in Central Asia). Instead, the European settlers simply eradicated and marginalized the indigenous population while attracting those Europeans who subscribed to their ideology. And of course they were more willing (than the Bolsheviks) to deviate from their original path and give a more “human” face to their ideology and history as time passed. This also helped in solidifying their nationhood.

Iran’s national identity is also an ideological one. The basis for Iran’s national identity was formed roughly 500 years ago, during the rise of the Safaviyeh dynasty. Before then, believe it or not, the vast majority of Iran’s population was Sunni. Under the Safavis, Sunnis were forcibly converted, which is why today we see that almost all Iranians are Shia. And Tashayyu became the basis of the nationhood of this Empire (which included present-day Iran but also parts of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan). Of course, this was a deviated form of Tashayyu (one involving monarchical rule and an elaborate hierarchical society), but nonetheless the rise of this dynasty was the seed that eventually caused religion to become the basis of Iranian national identity.

Modern Iran, of course, has different boundaries than Safavi Iran. But the country never expanded, it only shrank. And yet, in spite of this retraction, the country remained highly diverse, with a variety of different races and languages. Iran, even in its current form, could not possibly be a European-style nation-state. Therefore, the people of modern Iran have been united under a religious banner for over 500 years. The Pahlavi monarchs tried to replace this identity with Persian nationalism, modeled after that of their European mujtahids (replete with racism, chauvinism, historical revisionism, and contempt for Arabs), but ultimately failed, culminating in the triumph of the Islamic Revolution. The Islamic Revolution occurred as a result of Iranians reaffirming their Shia identity while rejecting the old Safavi deviations and impurities. As Emam Khomeini said: “Every king who has ruled this land in the past thousands of years – even the good ones – were traitors.”

So these are the different bases for nationhood and nationality.

But there are other ways in which a nation can form. In the parts of the world which were afflicted with the contagion of colonialism, nation-states were formed more or less arbitrarily. Other than Africa (whose complete annihilation at the hands of the colonialists will surely not be forgotten, if not in this world than in the next), this is most evident in the Arab countries.

The current boundaries of all the Arab countries were drawn by a man by the name of Winston Churchill. According to legend, the irregularity of Jordan’s eastern border was caused by Churchill – under the influence of alcohol, as he often was (leader of the civilized world!!!!) – hiccupping as he was putting his pencil to the map.

Nationhood, then, is often an even more difficult question in these countries, and comes with its own set of unique problems and conditions.

Inshallah in the next installment I will talk about Emam Khomeini’s ideas on nationalism and how these ideas are the guiding light for the foreign policy of the IRI.

Ya Ali

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OK for the critique of nationalism. But still don't know where in the world you folks get the idea that Capitalism is "un-Islamic."

Islam is unambiguously supportive of most or all fundamental core concepts of capitalism - private enterprise, private property, private markets and trade, private profit and wealth accumulation. Muhammad and Khadija were successful private merchants and Ali sung the praises of private enterprise in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar. There is a strong case for a government for the people, reasonable taxation, and social welfare, public investment in infrastructure. But to call Islam anti-Capitalist is pretty silly.

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The anti-capitalist mentality is nothing more than a combination of being on the wrong side of colonialism mixed with a little bit of Marxist accretionism. Incentive-based economies are entirely in line with Islam. Resisting the entire capitalist order is a recipe for extreme warfare. Baradar_Jackson, is your distaste for capitalism so extreme that you would be willing to fight a world war over it?

I agree that extreme nationalism is shirk, but with the proper moderation, a rational nationalism does not have to contradict Islam. The 'nation-state' method of organization has proved practical for humanity and so to keep bringing false arguments against it in the name of Islam is unnecessary and probably futile anyway.

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Brother this rant was pointless lol.

Most people know that Shiite Iran, has never represented Colonial Persia of our Islamic and non-Islamic empires.

This is the BS that some people in the CIA want to spread to get Iraq, and other countries to fear that the "Persian Empire" is going to rise and invade nations again.

Don't let the few morons on the threads make you think that 70% of them look at Iran as an imperialist colonialist country.

Maybe we have people here on SC who fear Iran for whatever reasons unknown, but I think they are a minority of the thread users.

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OK for the critique of nationalism. But still don't know where in the world you folks get the idea that Capitalism is "un-Islamic."

Islam is unambiguously supportive of most or all fundamental core concepts of capitalism - private enterprise, private property, private markets and trade, private profit and wealth accumulation. Muhammad and Khadija were successful private merchants and Ali sung the praises of private enterprise in his letter to Malik al-Ashtar. There is a strong case for a government for the people, reasonable taxation, and social welfare, public investment in infrastructure. But to call Islam anti-Capitalist is pretty silly.

Khadija was a businesswoman and she was "wealthy" (by the standards of the time) but she was hardly a capitalist.

Today she would be considered a small business owner, and a poor one at that.

In any case you don't know [Edited Out] so you shouldn't run around correcting people. Islam has its own economic system. Go read Shahid Sadr. I trust that he knows more than you about this matter.

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Khadija was a businesswoman and she was "wealthy" (by the standards of the time) but she was hardly a capitalist.

Today she would be considered a small business owner, and a poor one at that

In what generally understood fashion was she not a capitalist? She ran a private business; she privately owned, I would presume, amimals for carrying her goods for trade (these animals=capital). She pursued private profit and accumulated wealth.

Later, she engaged in private venture capitalism (arguably the most successful private investment in history) in her financial support of the Muslims.

Who told you small business owners are not capitalists? Small private entrepreneurs, growing their business through personal efforts and supported by sensible societal protections of private property are a fundamental engine of capitalist economics.

In any case you don't know [Edited Out] so you shouldn't run around correcting people. Islam has its own economic system. Go read Shahid Sadr. I trust that he knows more than you about this matter.

Read his thoughts on this subject. While I respect his intentions, his writings on economics are very much a product of his time, and the presentation of Capitalism he argues against is unfortunately a strawman caricature.

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In what generally understood fashion was she not a capitalist? She ran a private business; she privately owned, I would presume, amimals for carrying her goods for trade (these animals=capital). She pursued private profit and accumulated wealth.

Later, she engaged in private venture capitalism (arguably the most successful private investment in history) in her financial support of the Muslims.

Who told you small business owners are not capitalists? Small private entrepreneurs, growing their business through personal efforts and supported by sensible societal protections of private property are a fundamental engine of capitalist economics.

Private property does not necessarily denote capitalism, neither does the existence of a market.

Markets and private property existed even in command economies. In the Soviet Union, 2 percent of farm land was privately owned. Does that make the Soviet Union a capitalist economy?

In any case, capitalism arose in Europe 3 or so centuries ago. Before then, there was no such thing and thus one cannot retroactively declare Khadijah as a capitalist.

In fact, if you look at today's global economy, you see that finance has surpassed industry as the most important pillar, whereas in the Prophet's time, merchants were not even wealthy. In many other pre-capitalist societies, this was also the case. Merchants were not among the elites of society.

Read his thoughts on this subject. While I respect his intentions, his writings on economics are very much a product of his time, and the presentation of Capitalism he argues against is unfortunately a strawman caricature.

Someone who is as much as product of his times as you should not speak so contemptuously of Shahid Sadr.

Anyway he's not the only one who says that Islam and capitalism are incompatible. Emam Khomeini has said it as well. All of the ulama who are familiar enough with modern political and economic theories have said this.

Once again, you are projecting your own personal inclinations upon Islam.

In any case I don't want to argue about this. This thread is about nationalism. That point was not a central point. I don't have the patience to argue about this with a Canuck convert and a bud smoker who seem to give themselves the right to question the prerogatives of people (our scholars) more learned than them.

Ya Ali

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Private property does not necessarily denote capitalism, neither does the existence of a market.

Markets and private property existed even in command economies. In the Soviet Union, 2 percent of farm land was privately owned. Does that make the Soviet Union a capitalist economy?

This is a rather disingeneous attempt to unecessarily muddy the waters to escape the point. There is no monolithic, single size, single definition Capitalism. The concept of capitalism has a number of flavors that lie on a spectrum. There is Classical Economics, American School Economics, Austrian School/anarcho-capitalism, Neo-Classical school, etc. What they share are general tendencies on a variety of issues, such as degree of legal protection of private property, relatively open ability of individuals to start businesses and amass private wealth, majority of businesses are privately operated, much of the economic innovation and job creation in the private sector, etc.

There's no agreed strict dividing line, but 2% private ownership of farmland safe to say would probably not make the grade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the free market; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses and companies.

There is no consensus on the precise definition of capitalism, nor how the term should be used as an analytical category.[1] There is, however, little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism.[2] There are a variety of historical cases to which the designation is applied, varying in time, geography, politics and culture.[3] Some define capitalism as where all the means of production are privately owned, and some define it more loosely where merely "most" are in private hands — while others refer to the latter as a mixed economy biased toward capitalism. More fundamentally, others define capitalism as a system where production is carried out to generate profit, or exchange-value, regardless of legal ownership titles. Private ownership in capitalism implies the right to control property, including determining how it is used, who uses it, whether to sell or rent it, and the right to the revenue generated by the property.[4]

In any case, capitalism arose in Europe 3 or so centuries ago. Before then, there was no such thing and thus one cannot retroactively declare Khadijah as a capitalist.

Somewhat yes, but mostly no. Economics as a modern, formally studied science appeared in Europe a few centuries ago, and Capitalism as an idea was first formally, explicitly named and examined starting then. But the economic realities these theories described were pre-existing going back millenia. It wasn't self-consciously called capitalism, but it was capitalism nonetheless, or, if one wants to be pedantic, proto-capitalism. It may be, strictly speaking, an anachronism to call Muhammad and Khadija capitalists, but it is rather clear that they were at the very least proto-capitalists.

In fact, if you look at today's global economy, you see that finance has surpassed industry as the most important pillar, whereas in the Prophet's time, merchants were not even wealthy. In many other pre-capitalist societies, this was also the case. Merchants were not among the elites of society.

This is rather beside the point. Capitalism is a spectrum, and there is no agreement that the concept need or even should involve unhinged, unregulated finance. There is a range of opinion on how heavy a hand government should play in regulating; on the more minimal end we have people like Austrian economics and the Chicago School, and on the other hand, we have capitalist theories advocating a more robust government involvement to drive the economy at a high level and regulate it, for example the American School of Alexander Hamilton, Henry C. Carey, and Henry Clay, or the National System of Friedrich List. It's all understood to fit under the general umbrella of Capitalism.

Someone who is as much as product of his times as you should not speak so contemptuously of Shahid Sadr.

No one is speaking contemptuously. There is no contradiction between respecting a scholar for his knowledge and being at the same time aware and honest enough to respectfully point out where some of his ideas are ill founded and bound up within the time of their writing.

Sadr's writings on economics are overwhelmingly colored by two elements of his historical context:

1. The global cold war and it's proxy tug of war effects as reflected in the post-colonial middle east

2. The heavy influence of Marxist-socialist ideologies in Iraq in the 1950's to 1970's, to the detriment of traditional Islam and religiosity in general in the country

These two influences prompted three lines of rhetorical/ideological counter-response:

1. Marxism-socialism is spiritually empty, harmful, and incompatible with Islam

2. Islam is compatible with modernity and growth and development, but in a way that allows not just the body, but the soul to develop

3. Islam represents a "third way" between Capitalism and Communism, and is distinct from both.

Sadr's attacks on Marxism are the stronger component of his critique of "Western Economic systems."

This was in itself quite useful, and Sadr and those who were with him in his defense of Islam and critique of Marxism/socialism deserve a lot of credit with preserving and restoring religiosity amongst the educated classes in Iraq, making it respectable to be educated and modern and scientific, yet Islamic. They helped to save the franchise in Iraq in that period. May they have their reward for their invaluable work.

However, this said, objectively, Sadr's critique of Capitalism is not so compelling, and leaves a lot to be desired. It lacks nuance and sophistication, and in the effort to distinguish capitalist economics from "Islamic economics" flattens out the variety of capitalisms and sets up radical, laissez faire as a strawman to knock down. He is relatively effective in critiquing this most extreme variety of capitalist thought, and admittedly, this in itself had some usefulness in the historical context, since the 1970s represented a crucial crisis era turning point where the more extreme ideas of the Austrians and the Chicago school were starting to gain ascendancy in Western academia, including in America, away from more state and regulation friendly theories like the American school and Keynesianism.

But still, the treatment in his works is limited and flawed in this respect. He objectively does not make the case to reject capitalism in general nor to distinguish capitalism from Islam.

Anyway he's not the only one who says that Islam and capitalism are incompatible. Emam Khomeini has said it as well. All of the ulama who are familiar enough with modern political and economic theories have said this.

They can claim all they want. The problem is that to date I have not seen any of them come remotely close to backing up these claims with sound, fact based arguments that show a satisfactory knowledge of the subject matter.

Once again, you are projecting your own personal inclinations upon Islam.

I am assessing objectively based on rational argument and facts.

In any case I don't want to argue about this. This thread is about nationalism. That point was not a central point. I don't have the patience to argue about this with a Canuck convert and a bud smoker who seem to give themselves the right to question the prerogatives of people (our scholars) more learned than them.

First, the thread topic is pretty silly, and isn't really suited for deep discussion. "baradar_jackson: Nationalism is bad, it's a form of idolatry." "Everyone else: Yeah, I agree. Clearly." End of topic.

Secondly, I'm not sure what sort of religion you are following, but in Islam we have a teaching that it is a sin to unnecessarily dredge up the past pre-Islam wrongdoings of a Muslim who has since moved beyond them. You might want to think about putting that one into practice.

Edited by kadhim
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(bismillah)

Now I want to take a moment to talk about Emam Khomeini’s ideas on nationalism.

Emam Khomeini is the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As such, nobody’s ideas impact the ideological makeup of the country as much as his do.

Looking at his ideas on nationalism will, invariably, teach us a lot about the IRI’s position on nationalism.

First I want to make a small note about Emam Khomeini and his works: there have been many great statesmen throughout history. Many brilliant minds have entered the realm of politics, and have left a lasting mark on the history of the world. Some of them as been rabble-rousers and demagogues (Adolf Hitler and Nikita Khrushchev, for example, were better known for their speaking abilities than for their theoretical knowledge), others as theorists (Thomas Jefferson, Lenin, and the like). Some, such as Churchill, were competent administrators (or perceived as such). I won’t go through the whole list, but suffice it to say that each statesman was known for a particular thing.

Emam Khomeini, however, in addition to possessing the peak excellence in all of these traits (speaking abilities, administrative abilities, and theoretical knowledge), he also had an unparalleled level of personal virtue and piety. Meaning, he was an ideal husband, father, and human being. Many personal histories of people close to Emam confirm this.

Another thing one notices when flipping through the collected works of any political figure is that, in the course of their life times, these men said many conflicting things. One does not even need to do a comprehensive study to notice these inconsistencies.

Emam Khomeini is the only political leader whose collected works I have comprehensively studied. And still, he is the only political leader I have seen whose works have no inconsistencies. The more one studies someone, the greater the chance of inconsistencies arising. This is not the case with Emam Khomeini

My favor to anybody on here would be to try to get your hands on a copy of by-subject compilation of his statements and writings. There are many of these: short compilations of all of his writings and statements on a particular subject (i.e. Emam Khomeini on women, Emam Khomeini on Islamic government, Emam Khomeini’s philosophical views, etc.). Over 40 years of political/revolutionary activity, and no inconsistencies.

The reason I mention this is because I want people to know that when I post part of a speech of his, you can be confident that he did not contradict this statement two days later.

Fanon said that national consciousness is only useful inasmuch as it provides a motive for an independence movement. Once national liberation is achieved, however, the newly liberated country must then move on to political and social consciousness (moving past national consciousness). Thus I think Fanon’s views on nationalism are perfectly aligned with those of Emam Khomeini.

Emam’s views of nationalism and nationhood could be seen as being comprised of two parts: (1) the view of nationality being an essentially meaningless categorization, and (2) the belief in national self-determination. You may think that the two are mutually exclusive, but they are not. I will come back to this in a second.

For now I want to look at the war-time statements of Emam Khomeini. In modern times, war is often used as an excuse for leaders to use xenophobia, racism, and nationalism as a way to arouse the passions of their people. This has been the case no matter what government a country is governed by: be it a fascist dictatorship, or a socialist dictatorship, or a constitutional monarchy, or a liberal democracy. Take a look at World War I and World War II era propaganda placards and you will see the extent of this vile racism.

Emam Khomeini, according to the West, was a demagogue. He used people’s ignorance as political fuel for his regime. This statement has yet to be substantiated, and in fact when one does ones research, the opposite conclusion is reached: Emam Khomeini never compromised Islamic ideology, even if it meant doing something that was – by Western “realpolitik” standards – was politically inexpedient.

His wartime statements and speeches are the most beautiful example of his steadfastness in rejecting this approach. Not once in his wartime statements do you see any anti-Arab expressions. Not once does he antagonize the Iraqi people. Instead, he says: Iranians and Iraqis are cousins. They are engaged in the same struggle, which is the struggle for Islam; the struggle against imperialist oppression. Iraqis are fighting for national liberation against Saddam just as Iranians were against Mohammad Reza Shah.

Here is one of such statements:

As you have faced misery through the Ba’thist regime in Iraq we, too, have faced a similar situation in Iran through the hateful dictatorial government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi which did with our nation that which even the Mongols did not. They exiled many of our scholars from their homelands and martyred some of them. They dishonored our women and disrespected them. They tortured our youths in their prisons, and as we have heard, they even went to the extent of throwing some of them on scorching pans and sawing off their legs. They exiled many of our clerics, imprisoned them, and disrespected and oppressed them in the most horrible ways. You, too, have been facing the same problems at the hands of the infidel Ba’thist party of Iraq. They arrest your youths for the “crime” of visiting the Holy Shrine of the Doyen of the Martyrs, Imam Husayn (A) and dole out the most brutal treatment to them. Your scholars, too, have faced problems at the tyrannical hands of this corrupt and debauched party. We were witness to the atrocities they inflicted upon the late Ayatullah (Muhsin) Hakim. And they also martyred the late Ayatullah Sadr and his innocent and honorable sister simply because he stood up against their oppression and demanded for the rule of Islam. We have sacrificed martyrs and so have you. We have faced imprisonment and so have you.

He is expressing solidarity with the people which Iran was (supposedly) at war with. This was an unprecedented event, whose importance we should not understate. From reading such a statement, one would not know that these two countries were at war. This is the origins of a concept which was born in the IRI: people-to-people relations. Meaning, if relations with states becomes poor or non-existent, that is no obstacle for us to not engage in relations with a country’s people. The IRI has people-to-people relations with many countries with which it has little or no diplomatic relations (Egypt, for example).

And what about the supposed historical animosity between Arabs and Persians? Did Emam Khomeini use that during the war as a political tool to put the nation on a war footing? No:

This man (Saddam) who has inflicted great oppression on the Iraqi nation also invaded Iran, and that too the Arab settlements, in order to please the big powers. Under the pretext of pan-Arabism, this embodiment of corruption, inflicted upon the Iranian Arabs, such or perhaps even worse atrocities than what Mohammad Reza Shah inflicted upon the entire Iranian nation. He killed the Iranian Arabs and brought destitution upon them. He has massacred the women and the children of the Iranian Arab settlements and the other regions under the name of pan-Arabism - though actually to gain the pleasure of the Great Satan (the US) and its brothers - to such an extent that the graveyards in Iran have had to be expanded.

So there was no pandering to anti-Arab sentiment. Emam believed that the only reason people have such prejudices and xenophobias was because tyrannical leaders kept them in ignorance. He told the people the truth (i.e. about the ideas of universal brotherhood), and trusted that their consciousness would become greater. And sure enough, it did. The Iranian people suspended all forms of national prejudice (if only temporarily).

Now back to my point about national self-determination: Emam Khomeini believed that although nationalism was a contagion to be dealt with swiftly and aggressively, and that national consciousness must be replaced with a unitary Islamic consciousness, nations – Shia and Sunni, Muslim and non-Muslim – must choose their own paths to liberation. Read:

It is these nations that should arise and liberate themselves from the clutches of the tyrants through their movements. The nations should not harbor hopes for others to come to their rescue. A nation can liberate itself only by relying upon its own resources. Even though the Iranian nation was not offered help from any other country – Islamic or non-Islamic – while most countries, save a few, even opposed its movement since the Iranian nation was determined to overthrow this detestable dynasty, it emerged victorious. It is impossible to impose something upon a nation that is determined to stand up for a certain cause. The Iraqi nation should not sit helplessly waiting for a foreign hand to come and liberate it. The Iraqi nation believes in Islam and the Holy Qur’an and opposes tyranny and oppression and is averse to decadence. The Iraqi nation should follow the commands of Islam.

Meaning, Iraqis should use their own resources to overthrow the Bathists. A genuine revolution can only be achieved when the revolutionaries are completely self-sufficient.

On unity:

The nations should rise up on their own strength and should liberate themselves. The people of Iran and Iraq are not two different nations. They are not even separate from the rest of the Muslims. The Muslims all constitute one nation comprising a population of one billion and having countless natural resources but, unfortunately, these one billion people are under the suppression of the satanic big powers because of the deviation of most of the [Muslim] governments.

And there are other great points made by Emam in this statement, but I won’t quote them because they are not particularly relevant to this discussion (you can follow the link if you are interested). But his views are crystal clear. I will cite some more of his speeches and statements tomorrow.

Ya Hagh

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(bismillah)

I am just gonna cite some more of Emam Khomeini’s statements indicating that he believed in national self-determination and national independence while rejecting nationalism.

Here is a part of a speech he gave on nationalizing industry:

The basis of all of man’s victories and defeats begin with his own self. Man and his beliefs are the basis of all his victories and defeats. The Western powers – first England and later on the US and other powerful countries – have always tried to make the weak countries believe, with the help of their propaganda, that they are incompetent and good-for-nothing and, therefore, their hands should always be spread out towards the big powers of the East and the West in the areas of industry, military, and for the administration of their countries. Those who wished to plunder off the resources of the weak countries had rightly planned that in order to succeed they would need to make the people of these countries believe that they are incompetent and cannot have an independent industry of their own, and that they cannot manage their own military affairs, and that they are incapable of administering the affairs of their own countries. This belief was spread in these countries through the activities of those who were infatuated by the West and resulted in the destruction and backwardness of these countries.

Another speech on this subject:

It is vital that we realize that no one is going to provide anything for us and only we have to learn to cater to our own needs. If only our farmers realize and believe that nothing is going to reach us from outside, they will start working for themselves. The nation will start working for itself. I had once heard that in the earlier days, the Chinese planted wheat even on their rooftops, besides their fields and backyards. If a nation wishes to become self-reliant and independent in every area, it simply has to discard the thought of importing everything from abroad. It has to inculcate the idea of becoming independent of the need to import from abroad. And even if we lack something, we will forego the need for it until we can manufacture it domestically. Even if we find that we cannot presently manage to up a certain industry, we should not depend upon foreign help. We should pursue the matter on our own strength until we gain success which is bound to come eventually. There is absolutely no difference between “Iranian brains” and “European brains” except that they were brought up in one manner and we were brought up in another manner. We were brought up to be lazy. Fine! But for how much longer are we going to tolerate the idea of being a lazy lot that is completely dependent on other lords and masters to provide for its bread, its meat, and to even administer its offices and its army. There has to be an end to this. A human being cannot remain a parasite forever.

What is important is that we believe in ourselves and our capabilities. Before anything else, it is necessary to have faith in oneself and in one’s ability. Once this belief is firm, we can become determined. And when this determination emerges in a nation everyone gets up and starts working. In any case, we need to get all negative beliefs out of our minds and our writers, our orators, and our public authorities should strive to inculcate self-assurance within our peoples; in the same manner that they inculcated the belief in the Eastern minds in the past few centuries through their propaganda that unless we rely upon the West or the North, we will not be able to do anything. This was simply a belief that even our writers and orators of those times endorsed.

Well, you all saw that once a nation became determined everything became possible! When a nation is determined to achieve something, it is bound to succeed. They are once again attempting to surface this belief that we are incapable and that we lack the necessary expertise and that we lack the know-how. All those countries that ultimately succeeded, like Japan, started from scratch and labored hard and are now able to compete with the US. The US is a market for many Japanese products today. They did succeed in making the impossible possible.

Emam Khomeini rejected nationalism but felt that national independence was the best way to eradicate it. This is seemingly self-contradictory, but it is not. In a fraternity of independent nations, one nation can never gain predominance over the other. And when such an equal relationship comes to exist between countries, nationhood as a meaningful source of division between people will cease to exist.

Imperial powers, therefore, add accent to the phenomenon of nationalism. If the imperial powers are torn down, and countries commit themselves to universal brotherhood, nationalism will wither away, and real progress will be made in the path of creating the Islamic ummah.

On the lack of antagonism between Iranian and Iraqi people during the war:

You should not refer to any antagonism between the two nations of Iraq and Iran because these two nations share brotherly relations and both these nations are against the Iraqi government.

One last speech.

Alright, so we have given enough attention to Emam Khomeini’s position on nationalism. Next will be how these ideas have been implemented in the IRI (particularly in recent years, when the anti-Islamic elements have inculcated in the minds of Arabs the notion of the “new Persian Empire” scourge).

Ya Ali

Edited by baradar_jackson
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can you quote specifically where Khomeni speaks of nationalism? these quotes above speak to national independence, but do not speak about nationalism itself.

One of his most famous quotes:

We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.
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Salam brothers and sisters

Brother Jackson, I would have to say I agree with most if not all of what you say.

My personal opinion on nationalism is this: Making people emotional, angry, violent, racist, arrogant and ready to give their lives for imaginary lines on a map that were drawn up and imposed on them by foreign powers. Nationalism is a stupid idea and most nation states today are drawn up by colonial powers in order to divide and conquer people of the Middle East and Africa. Now these days they are a fact of life, and when a power invades your country it is your duty to resist and to defend it (look at Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., and Iran during the imposed war). However to have your number one loyalty to these borders which used to change all the time and in some cases still do; is nonsense. Islam does not have borders, and if people realised this; the world would be in a much better position.

As for capitalism, I wanted to share a few stunning lines by Shahid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (qas) regarding the capitalist system:

"Reflect on how much the human race has suffered from the calamities of this system due to its materialistic spirit, form, tactics and purposes. Estimate for yourself the lot of a society established on the basis of this system and its conceptions of happiness and stability. In this society, mutual love and confidence, real merry and compassion, as well as all good, spiritual tendencies are totally absent. Thus, in it the individual lives feeling that he is responsible for himself alone, and that he is endangered by any interests of others that may clash with his. It is as if he is engaged in a constant struggle and a continuous fight, equipped with no weapons other than his personal powers, and provided with no purposes other than his personal interests"

- Our Philosophy, Shahid al-Sadr (qas)

He says a lot more but I thought in the short time I have this summed it up nicely. Remember Islam doesn't need capitalism, socialism, marxism, communism, etc. Islam is Islam and is itself a perfect system that can be implemented with no outside influence. This includes not only a system for individuals to live, but also a community system involving politics, economics and any other aspects which come together to form a society. For brother Kadhim to say "Islam is unambiguously supportive of most or all fundamental core concepts of capitalism" is false. Sorry brother but I strongly disagree with you, just because capitalism might appear to have some things in common with the Islamic system, doesn't mean it isn't anti-Islamic. For example, if somebody prays, fasts, gives charity, lives a humble life, and my all appearances is Muslim, etc; but instead of worshiping Allah, he worships Satan; can we say he shares a lot in common with Muslims? Having some things in common doesn't mean anything, the fact is the very core of the two are fundamentally opposed in which case they are the antithesis of each other.

Inshallah I will add more later on but for now I am busy so I thought I would share this small piece of information.

Wassalam

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Salam brothers and sisters

Brother Jackson, I would have to say I agree with most if not all of what you say.

My personal opinion on nationalism is this: Making people emotional, angry, violent, racist, arrogant and ready to give their lives for imaginary lines on a map that were drawn up and imposed on them by foreign powers. Nationalism is a stupid idea and most nation states today are drawn up by colonial powers in order to divide and conquer people of the Middle East and Africa. Now these days they are a fact of life, and when a power invades your country it is your duty to resist and to defend it (look at Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., and Iran during the imposed war). However to have your number one loyalty to these borders which used to change all the time and in some cases still do; is nonsense. Islam does not have borders, and if people realised this; the world would be in a much better position.

As for capitalism, I wanted to share a few stunning lines by Shahid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (qas) regarding the capitalist system:

"Reflect on how much the human race has suffered from the calamities of this system due to its materialistic spirit, form, tactics and purposes. Estimate for yourself the lot of a society established on the basis of this system and its conceptions of happiness and stability. In this society, mutual love and confidence, real merry and compassion, as well as all good, spiritual tendencies are totally absent. Thus, in it the individual lives feeling that he is responsible for himself alone, and that he is endangered by any interests of others that may clash with his. It is as if he is engaged in a constant struggle and a continuous fight, equipped with no weapons other than his personal powers, and provided with no purposes other than his personal interests"

- Our Philosophy, Shahid al-Sadr (qas)

He says a lot more but I thought in the short time I have this summed it up nicely. Remember Islam doesn't need capitalism, socialism, marxism, communism, etc. Islam is Islam and is itself a perfect system that can be implemented with no outside influence. This includes not only a system for individuals to live, but also a community system involving politics, economics and any other aspects which come together to form a society. For brother Kadhim to say "Islam is unambiguously supportive of most or all fundamental core concepts of capitalism" is false. Sorry brother but I strongly disagree with you, just because capitalism might appear to have some things in common with the Islamic system, doesn't mean it isn't anti-Islamic. For example, if somebody prays, fasts, gives charity, lives a humble life, and my all appearances is Muslim, etc; but instead of worshiping Allah, he worships Satan; can we say he shares a lot in common with Muslims? Having some things in common doesn't mean anything, the fact is the very core of the two are fundamentally opposed in which case they are the antithesis of each other.

Inshallah I will add more later on but for now I am busy so I thought I would share this small piece of information.

Wassalam

Dear brother:

Thanks for the insightful comment.

Capitalism is a system that subordinates everything to individual material self-interest. It caters to the most selfish materialist instincts of people; that is why it has created such great material prosperity in some places, and it is also why it has created such destitution and ruin in other places. (And, in the places where it has created material prosperity, it has eroded the spiritual livelihoods of people). Another good book about this is by Shahid Morteza Avini: Tose'eh va mabani-ye tamaddon-e gharb ('Development,' and the Foundations of Western Civilization). It is not anywhere near the level of Shahid Sadr, but still very interesting.

Emam Khomeini said that the problem of today is that material interests are placed above human interests. He said something like (and this is my memory): "As long as people are drowned in materialism and hedonism, Islamic and human values can never flourish."

Islam (in its economic doctrine) puts human interests above material interests, which makes it inherently anti-capitalistic. Capitalism is all about "incentives." For capitalism, a non-material incentive is -- in fact -- not an incentive at all.

(salam)

Wallahi I am lubnani for life !! And everyone else is low-class!! :D

i keed, calm down guys

You're a Leb?

Dude I love Lebs. Why didn't you tell me? I would have been nicer to you.

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Dear brother:

Thanks for the insightful comment.

Capitalism is a system that subordinates everything to individual material self-interest. It caters to the most selfish materialist instincts of people; that is why it has created such great material prosperity in some places, and it is also why it has created such destitution and ruin in other places. (And, in the places where it has created material prosperity, it has eroded the spiritual livelihoods of people). Another good book about this is by Shahid Morteza Avini: Tose'eh va mabani-ye tamaddon-e gharb ('Development,' and the Foundations of Western Civilization). It is not anywhere near the level of Shahid Sadr, but still very interesting.

Emam Khomeini said that the problem of today is that material interests are placed above human interests. He said something like (and this is my memory): "As long as people are drowned in materialism and hedonism, Islamic and human values can never flourish."

Economics studies how mankind does and should organize his activities within the material world to his benefit. Capitalist economics as such deals with the organization of man's efforts in the material world. But it does not obligate in any shape or form an ontologically materialist worldview any more than physics, chemistry, or biology do in their studies of the natural world.

Rational self-interest is not strictly focused on material matters, and there is nothing wrong or inconsistent with Islam in acting in one's rational self-interest, given a full and proper understanding and perspective of self-interest. We ourselves hold that we are Islamically obligated to do certain things and avoid other things, not out of some arbitrary restriction, but because it is to our benefit, to our interest to do so.

Higher values and morals enter the economic sphere in a number of ways:

1. Through government involvement, including regulation to temper extremes, taxation, and the active financing of positive projects directed toward the general welfare

2. Through the ethics of individuals in their day to day work ethic and their integrity in business transactions

3. Through the choices of consumers and private investors in terms of their ethical choices of what to purchase or invest in

Islam (in its economic doctrine) puts human interests above material interests, which makes it inherently anti-capitalistic. Capitalism is all about "incentives." For capitalism, a non-material incentive is -- in fact -- not an incentive at all.

Illiterate nonsense. This is again a strawman that aims conveniently at one particularly extreme flavor of capitalist thought, while pretending, either out of willful deception or just plain ignorance, that it applies to all capitalist theories.

The counter to this is to direct interested readers to, for example, the American School of Economics of Alexander Hamilton, Henry C. Carey, and Henry Clay, or the National School of Friedrich List. Both of these schools are understood to be capitalist by economists, and both begin from a foundation of promoting the general welfare of the population as a whole, with economics focusing on how to most efficiently and effectively organize efforts to develop the people as a whole. Both sit within the general notion of Natural Law with man as a creation of a Beneficient God and endowed by the creator with certain rights and needs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_School_(economics)

Key works of these schools include:

Harmony of Interests, by Henry C. Carey

National System of Political Economy, by Friedrich List

An interestign quotation from Carey's work:

Two systems are before the world;... One looks to increasing the necessity of commerce; the other to increasing the power to maintain it. One looks to underworking the Hindoo, and sinking the rest of the world to his level; the other to raising the standard of man throughout the world to our level. One looks to pauperism, ignorance, depopulation, and barbarism; the other to increasing wealth, comfort, intelligence, combination of action, and civilization. One looks towards universal war; the other towards universal peace. One is the English system; the other we may be proud to call the American system, for it is the only one ever devised the tendency of which was that of elevating while equalizing the condition of man throughout the world.[17]

-----

For brother Kadhim to say "Islam is unambiguously supportive of most or all fundamental core concepts of capitalism" is false. Sorry brother but I strongly disagree with you, just because capitalism might appear to have some things in common with the Islamic system, doesn't mean it isn't anti-Islamic. For example, if somebody prays, fasts, gives charity, lives a humble life, and my all appearances is Muslim, etc; but instead of worshiping Allah, he worships Satan; can we say he shares a lot in common with Muslims? Having some things in common doesn't mean anything, the fact is the very core of the two are fundamentally opposed in which case they are the antithesis of each other.

You have claimed to disagree, but given no basis for disagreement or any sign that you understand what you are even disagreeing with.

Sorry, but the "core" of Capitalism (the common denominator of all the different sub-species of Capitalist thought) lies in exactly the basic, relatively uncontroversial items I have already mentioned:

-Acceptance of the concept of private property and legal protection of private property rights (including legal avenues to prosecute theft and to pursue compensation in the event of property damage)

-Acceptance of the concept of privately owned and operated business

-Acceptance of the concept of private finance

-Acceptance of the ability of private individuals to build wealth, and acceptance of the idea that people are justified in reaping the fruits of their efforts, and that some will be justified in having more than others

That is it. It does not require a materialist outlook on life, it does not require one to "worship wealth," it does not require unrestrained greed, it does not require one to base his analysis and decision-making on material factors alone. Capitalism at heart is a recognition of certain basic ecnomic common sense ideas that are in line with mankind's nature.

Remember Islam doesn't need capitalism, socialism, marxism, communism, etc. Islam is Islam and is itself a perfect system that can be implemented with no outside influence.

It is not a matter of adding an outside influence. It comes back to the concept of the deen al-fitrah.

Islam is about a moderate way of life that is in harmony with his combined physical, social, and spiritual nature. Islam, as taught by Muhammad and his family, did not originate out of the blue, its teachings. The teachings were reminders of perennial truths. In the economic sphere, Islam touches on certain perennial, pre-exisitng truths of what works in a healthy fashion economically.

These perennial truths amount to the same thing as the core of Capitalism. You can insist on calling it strictly "Islamic economics" if you like, but the reality is that Islam teaches a flavor of economics that fits within the umbrella of Capitalist economic theories.

Edited by kadhim
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Salam,

I really didn't want to reintroduce the discussion on whether Capitalism is Islamic or not (i.e. moral or not in the eyes of a Muslim). But I honestly think that several key points have been completely overlooked, at least not emphasized nearly as much as they should have been.

As far as the claim that Capitalism is an economic system in which private enterprise and wealth accumulation are permissible, this is a very narrow definition. These are key elements in a capitalist society, and are emphasized when talking about modern-capitalism because the concept was developed at a time when these basic rights were not enjoyed by the general public, as they should have been. John Locke, Adam Smith and others who contributed to the system that governs western economics fought for basic human rights that all men/women are entitled to, i.e. freedom, private capital, right of ownership, right to accumulate wealth... These ideas were merely the motivation for what has come to be known as capitalism, but, yes, these rights did exist before these individuals wrote their treatises and published their books. They existed particularly in the Islamic world, as these rights are very well protected in the Qur'an. They were the bases for the aforementioned scholars' arguments because they had been taken from people.

Similarly, a political or economic ideology founded on the idea of "the right to marry whom one wishes" in a society where this right is taken (such as in the culture of the Vaupés Indians) will have this and perhaps only this in common with Islam, as this right is also protected by the rulings of Islam. However, what comes thereafter must also be examined before one can say whether this new ideology is consistent with Islamic teachings or not.

Back to Capitalism, the fundamental and motivating ideas on which the system was based are consistent with Islam, however, what comes after has yet to be examined. Islam is a comprehensive moral principle system from which rulings on trade and financial transactions can NOT be detached. Because of this, it is simply the case that unless an economic system (say Capitalism) addresses the moral responsibilities of each party involved in trade, to the extent of limiting the amount of profit generated, controlling the use of the profit, and examining the means by which profit is obtained, it is very likely NOT consistent with Islam.

An example to support this is the fact that one of the fundamental theories in capitalism is that price is determined by supply and demand. Lower supply & higher demand => higher price. This is clearly inconsistent with Islamic rulings, and here's how: After the 2006 July war between Israel and The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, over 12,000 residential units had been destroyed. People returned home to rubble, and were in immediate need of simple household appliances (ovens, laundry machines, electric generators, etc...) just to get by. Many vendors realized this increased demand, and the fact that supplies were limited and began raising prices. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (HA) addressed this in a speech saying that it was unacceptable and immoral (thus un-Islamic) to exploit people's misery/suffering/misfortune to increase profit. I clearly agree with his opinion, as would most Muslims because morals govern our positions more so than the desire for profit.

Another example is the fact that every year, U.S. companies dump thousands of tons of wheat, coffee, and rice into the ocean to maintain value. While millions starve in Africa and India, Capitalism (the uncontrolled, unregulated pursuit of profit) promotes this type of activity in order to keep prices within desired ranges. Who could argue that this is consistent with Islam, as a religion, not merely a politico-economic system?

Please brothers, do not make the mistake of separating the different aspects of Islam. Morality, charity and responsibility in matters of trade are no less significant than our other obligations.

Not to mention the fact that another one of the fundamental ideas which governs the capitalist ideology is individuals freedom, which seems nice and pretty on the outside. But by the standards of this idea, I am free to walk down the street, approach a homeless person, look them straight in the eye, pull a stack of money out of my pocket, smile at them, put the money back in my pocket without offering a dollar, and walk away without saying a word. The legal system cannot hold against me the psychological and emotional damage that I have caused, because of the idea of individual freedom. Same goes for (as baradar_jackson mentioned) the presence of sexual content in movies, alcoholism and all of the other moral problems in these societies.

The underlying rule is this: anywhere morality is not taken into consideration when establishing a political or economic system, the outcome is inevitably and undeniably un-Islamic! That is merely my opinion, and on that basis i think capitalism is essentially inconsistent with Islam.

I'll close this topic now, and get back to the talk about Nationalism in my next posting...

Thank you!

Edited by jonrhaider
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jonrhaidar,

The minimal definition of capitalism is the basic common denominator of the different doctrines/systems that are usually called Capitalist.

John Maynard Keyes, Henry C. Cary, and Ludwig von Mises were all Capitalist theorists, but their views on a huge range of issues varied drastically.

The harmonization between Islam and Capitalism is that some flavors of capitalism, particularly the American School (1800-1950's) are compatible with Islam, while others, particularly Anarcho-Capitalism and British style laissez faire, are not.

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jonrhaidar,

The minimal definition of capitalism is the basic common denominator of the different doctrines/systems that are usually called Capitalist.

John Maynard Keyes, Henry C. Cary, and Ludwig von Mises were all Capitalist theorists, but their views on a huge range of issues varied drastically.

The harmonization between Islam and Capitalism is that some flavors of capitalism, particularly the American School (1800-1950's) are compatible with Islam, while others, particularly Anarcho-Capitalism and British style laissez faire, are not.

To a limited extent, as I've mentioned. In the sense of a politico-economic system, the premises on which even the American National School was based were perhaps consistent with Islam. But once again, such a system that takes no consideration of moral accountability in matters of trade is bound to be un-Islamic. Not to mention the role of Central Bank in Hamiltonian economics as lender and interest collector (a concept which is also rejected in Islam). The fact that federal law places no cap on interest rates, and never has, is enough to argue that the system (even during the American School era) was never really Islamic.

It has many things in common with the Islamic economic system, but is not compatible! I am not an economics scholar, but the reasons mentioned alone (supply-demand curve, controlling supply to maintain value, moral questions, interest rates...) are more than enough to argue that the two are not compatible...

Thank you!

Jon

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If Muslims are so much against capitalism, then why are so many of you here participating in its benefits?

I for one, am not against capitalism. I will be as transparent as day light in that regards.

There needs to be some level of competition among the masses.

Even in Iran we have a form of capitalism (State Capitalism).

But what I'm against are the ideas of severe levels of exploitation, fascism, and imperialism which are beyond regular capitalism.

I think at heart, it is safe to say that most Muslims that left Iran, left for opportunistic reasons. (economic and education).

To deny so would be hypocritical.

Edited by ShiaBen
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To a limited extent, as I've mentioned. In the sense of a politico-economic system, the premises on which even the American National School was based were perhaps consistent with Islam. But once again, such a system that takes no consideration of moral accountability in matters of trade is bound to be un-Islamic. Not to mention the role of Central Bank in Hamiltonian economics as lender and interest collector (a concept which is also rejected in Islam). The fact that federal law places no cap on interest rates, and never has, is enough to argue that the system (even during the American School era) was never really Islamic.

It has many things in common with the Islamic economic system, but is not compatible! I am not an economics scholar, but the reasons mentioned alone (supply-demand curve, controlling supply to maintain value, moral questions, interest rates...) are more than enough to argue that the two are not compatible...

Thank you!

Jon

First of all brother, those were beautiful posts. I cannot possibly add anything to that.

I think the problem here is that some people think that because Islam provides for certain freedoms, then it must necessarily provide that these freedoms are unlimited. And this is simply not the case. Islam does not give us unlimited freedom in anything, not even in worship.

Islam is a straight line. Other ideologies are crooked lines. Certainly, Islam's line will cross the other lines in some areas. But this does not make the two compatible.

In fact, any two ideologies are bound to have similarities. For example, from an Islamic perspective, Marxism and capitalism have a lot alike (namely, that they are both a product of 18th century European discourses, and they both have a materialist outlook). Dr. Shariati has written expensively on this. Jalal Al-e Ahmad divided the Cold War "Capitalism vs. Communism" world along lines that put capitalism and communism on the same side.

But I am not surprised that kadhim thinks the way he does. He is from Canada. Canada is America Jr. And in the US, there is a curious marriage of Christianity and capitalism. Part of this is because of the Protestant ethic (which encouraged profit), another part is Cold War dogma. So he still sees any rejection of capitalism as a manifestation of Marxism, whether conscious or subconscious.

I for one, am not against capitalism. I will be as transparent as day light in that regards.

There needs to be some level of competition among the masses.

Even in Iran we have a form of capitalism (State Capitalism).

But what I'm against are the ideas of severe levels of exploitation, fascism, and imperialism which are beyond regular capitalism.

I think at heart, it is safe to say that most Muslims that left Iran, left for opportunistic reasons. (economic and education).

To deny so would be hypocritical.

I think you're a bit confused (no offense).

One minute you're a Marxist, the next you are a capitalist.

I love you but you're a typical example of Muslims' political confusion.

Our people are afflicted with ideological incoherence.

The solution to this problem is Emam Khomeini. His views were completely devoid of inconsistencies and ambiguities.

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First of all brother, those were beautiful posts. I cannot possibly add anything to that.

I think the problem here is that some people think that because Islam provides for certain freedoms, then it must necessarily provide that these freedoms are unlimited. And this is simply not the case. Islam does not give us unlimited freedom in anything, not even in worship.

Islam is a straight line. Other ideologies are crooked lines. Certainly, Islam's line will cross the other lines in some areas. But this does not make the two compatible.

In fact, any two ideologies are bound to have similarities. For example, from an Islamic perspective, Marxism and capitalism have a lot alike (namely, that they are both a product of 18th century European discourses, and they both have a materialist outlook). Dr. Shariati has written expensively on this. Jalal Al-e Ahmad divided the Cold War "Capitalism vs. Communism" world along lines that put capitalism and communism on the same side.

But I am not surprised that kadhim thinks the way he does. He is from Canada. Canada is America Jr. And in the US, there is a curious marriage of Christianity and capitalism. Part of this is because of the Protestant ethic (which encouraged profit), another part is Cold War dogma. So he still sees any rejection of capitalism as a manifestation of Marxism, whether conscious or subconscious.

I think you're a bit confused (no offense).

One minute you're a Marxist, the next you are a capitalist.

I love you but you're a typical example of Muslims' political confusion.

Our people are afflicted with ideological incoherence.

The solution to this problem is Emam Khomeini. His views were completely devoid of inconsistencies and ambiguities.

I'm a Marxist in the humanitarian sense, but not in the real sense. I don't think Marxists really exist anymore.

Can you also explain to us why you are living in the U.S. if you are opposed to capitalism?

I can't comprehend this. Just because some Muslims and non-Muslims, oppose elements of capitalism they disagree with, doesn't mean they don't accept capitalism in the basic sense.

I'm against severe forms of exploitation, the concept of imperialism, slavery, and such institutions, that doesn't make me a non-capitalist regardless.

Even Iran's economic system is one form of capitalism, it's a state capitalist society, maybe it's different from the capitalism practiced in America, Turkey, Russia, but regardless it is still capitalist.

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when are you planning to move there and what are you planning to do? I'm contemplating the same drastic change ..

(salam)

Well i'm still a teen so I might just be having those lil foolish "dreams" that don't turn out to be reality. lol but I hope that's not the case

and the reason why is to study in the hawza + living in an Islamic country is likely to help me improve on being a muslim myself.. I'm speaking on a personal lvl though

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(salam)

Well i'm still a teen so I might just be having those lil foolish "dreams" that don't turn out to be reality. lol but I hope that's not the case

and the reason why is to study in the hawza + living in an Islamic country is likely to help me improve on being a muslim myself.. I'm speaking on a personal lvl though

Good luck brother, inshallah you end up going.

Being Lebanese, you will get a king's reception.

Just don't bring any of your sisters along with you unless you want her to end up getting to some Iranian dude.

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I think the problem here is that some people think that because Islam provides for certain freedoms, then it must necessarily provide that these freedoms are unlimited. And this is simply not the case. Islam does not give us unlimited freedom in anything, not even in worship.

Who are these mysterious "some people?" Because no one here made any argument in favor of "umlimited freedoms." No one claimed Islam favors unlimited freedom, and no one claimed that Capitalism favors unlimited freedom in general. Indeed, it has been demonstrated in some detail that there are forms of capitalism that advocate a robust government involvement as a regulator of the economy to protect the public interest.

Your strawman is therefore null and void. Is there a particular reason why you lie so often?

The solution to this problem is Emam Khomeini. His views were completely devoid of inconsistencies and ambiguities.

Subhannah. I wish you could escape yourself and read some of the things you say.

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Good luck brother, inshallah you end up going.

Being Lebanese, you will get a king's reception.

Just don't bring any of your sisters along with you unless you want her to end up getting to some Iranian dude.

(salam)

Thank you brother very much for the dua!

as for your last comment, well an Iranian is much better than some westernized 50% Canadian / 50% Lebanese dude! :P

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(salam)

Thank you brother very much for the dua!

No worries brother.

You are always welcome to stay with my family. I don't have any family in Qom, unfortunately. But if you are ever in Tehran or Yazd, you are always welcome to stay with them.

as for your last comment, well an Iranian is much better than some westernized 50% Canadian / 50% Lebanese dude! :P

#goodnewsforjackson

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No worries brother.

You are always welcome to stay with my family. I don't have any family in Qom, unfortunately. But if you are ever in Tehran or Yazd, you are always welcome to stay with them.

(salam)

Bro that is very kind of you to say that. God bless you and your family and keep you in good health and eeman.

#goodnewsforjackson

lol !

Edited by 14infallibles
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