Critique of ethnic nationalism in the teachings of Said Nursi: A study of nationalism and the question of Islam in Bangladeshi identity

Authors

  • Sumaiya Rabeya MSc. Student, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia
  • Mohammad Hossain MSc. Student, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Malaysia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/iiucs.v14i2.39881

Keywords:

Bediuzzaman Nursi, Islam, Ethnic nationalism, Bangladesh

Abstract

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, a strong proponent of Muslim unity, was always against what he called negative nationalism in Muslim societies. While he believed that nationalism could play a positive role in arousing compassion of Muslims, he also warned of its potential drawbacks and adverse consequences as a tool for domination and causing harm. Ethnic nationalism is primarily seen in highly homogenous societies throughout the world today. Bangladeshi nationalism, as developed by its proponents, has however, failed to be inclusive, and instead works within a framework which tends towards exclusion. This paper, through a discursive discussion of historical narratives and aspects of identity formation, argues that recent manifestations of the ills of Bangladeshi nationalism, stems from deeper issues related to failure of resolving the place of religious identity, mainly Islamic identity, within the Bangladeshi identity. This has led to aspects of negative nationalism, such as deeply polarized society, and aided in maintaining the divisive dichotomy of the secular and religious within the nation state in Bangladesh.

IIUC Studies Vol.14(2) December 2017: 71-84

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Published

2017-12-20

How to Cite

Rabeya, S., & Hossain, M. (2017). Critique of ethnic nationalism in the teachings of Said Nursi: A study of nationalism and the question of Islam in Bangladeshi identity. IIUC Studies, 14(2), 71–84. https://doi.org/10.3329/iiucs.v14i2.39881

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Articles