Good people here, bad people there

Shiraz Maher escaped from Hizb ut-Tahrir

Islamism transcends cultural norms, so it not only prompted me to reject my British identity but also my ethnic South Asian background. I was neither eastern, nor western; I was a Muslim, a part of the global ummah, where identity is defined through the fraternity of faith. Islamists insist this identity is not racist because Islam welcomes people of all colours, ethnicities and backgrounds. That was true, but our world view was still horribly bipolar. We didn’t distinguish on the basis of colour, but on creed. The world was simply divided into believers and nonbelievers.

Identity defined through the ‘fraternity of faith’ is not racist, good, but it does divide the world simply into believers and nonbelievers (or infidels, kufr, apostates, heretics, misbelievers, traitors), which is at least as bad. Dividing the world into just two is both dangerous and malevolent for an obvious reason: it means that the not-us part is seen as The Enemy. That potential always exists for any kind of evaluation or preference or allegiance, but it’s a lot weaker when the allegiances are multiple instead of single. Beware the people who divide the world in two.

2 Responses to “Good people here, bad people there”