Our Form of Incest, Our Idolatry, Our Insanity

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. Patriotism is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by “patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one‘s own nation, which is the concern with the nation‘s spiritual as much as with its material welfare – never with its power over other nations.

Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one‘s country which is not part of one‘s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.

– Erich Fromm

With thank to the excellent Lulando blog.

Ya Haqq!


12 Responses to Our Form of Incest, Our Idolatry, Our Insanity

  1. my father tried to bring me up as a good traditional iraqi girl, but failed, because I saw more then that. I am not ashamed of where I am from, but i love and respect humans for what they are and their uniqueness. we should respect everyone else’s way of life.

  2. lu says:

    “Herr K. didn‘t deem it necessary to live in a specific country. He said: “I can go hungry everywhere.” Yet one day he walked through a town that was occupied by the enemy of the country he was living in. An officer of the enemy got in his way and forced him to leave the pavement. Herr K. did as ordered, and perceived how he grew outraged not only toward that man, but also toward the man’s country; he wished it to be wiped out from the earth’s surface. ‘How,’ was Herr K.’s question ‘did I become a nationalist for this minute? Because I met a nationalist. That is why this stupidity must be eradicated, because those who get in touch with it also turn stupid.'”

    – Bertolt Brecht

    And thanks for the free trip to Mount Ego in the Nafs Valley organized by Vanity tours…

  3. cubano says:

    Excellent quote! I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Shiraz says:

    I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with loving one’s homeland or culture, but obviously in moderation. Appreciate the good, oppose the bad, and certainly don’t be afraid of other cultures, since human history is the history of cultural exchange.

    At the very least, we must acknowledge the bad within our own nation or culture. If not, if we hold on to it too rigidly, nationalism becomes another form of egotism.

  5. darwis!y says:

    regarding this matter i would love to qoute a brother from indonesia:

    I am a moslem; I am a Javanese
    I speak English seldom, sometimes Deutsch, mostly Bahasa Indonesia
    I am an Indonesian.
    But my love is beyond nationalities, language boundaries, races, and any religious differences
    My deepest Love is beyond them all
    (Jakarta, August 2007)

    i mean WOW..thats it.. nationalism eat that :) and the timing is just impeccable since august is the month Indonesia as well as Malaysia gained independence.
    we speak of a world without boundaries,yet we are getting more territorial.we speak of global citizens yet we are getting more segregated..Oh what a pity indeed.Where is the love? :)

    As always,Peace be with you.

  6. mshahin says:

    This is right on target, and I’ve never heard it expressed so well. I’ve always been against patriotism that puts a nation above human beings, but I never looked at it as idolatry, which it is. There is too much nationalism in the world, including among Muslims. It’s time for us to be citizens of one world and brothers and sisters of one humanity.

  7. Irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for you comments :) Nationalism has been the curse of history, and never more so than in the last century. Its patriotic “my country right or wrong” flag-waving macho idiocy has caused such class and race and religious hatred and destruction that Erich Fromm’s beautifully stated quote was a breath of fresh air. The ideal of loving one’s country as a part of humanity has been lost in the fear of non-white foreigners. It is a racial thing at its heart, stirred by politicians for their own agendas of power. War does not make a country great, it makes it miserable and sad, and racial purity is an opium dream of fascists and Republicans.

    Ya Haqq!

  8. rama says:

    A most timely and salutary piece of wisdom, when right now we are deafened by the cacophony of sham patriotism and nationalism. True patriots and nationalists are those who silently, selflessly sacrifice themselves, out of love, for others.



  9. nisa says:

    I’m so glad for this blog! heh. Excellent posts! Hope all is well!! Hows your grand-daughter? Keeping you busy? :)

  10. aiman says:

    Very well said, brother.

    I quote from one of my modest attempts to express a similar sentiment:

    “You play your national anthems, and I mean all the nations, and while you play your anthems and you hang your flags, East and West, I’m left to think what with the pride…the pride that oozes from the wounds of your victims.

    “And I ask, what can be believed. That I am to conclude like Goethe that patriotism “ruins history”, but what nation is free when her sisters lie confined. And I have been and I have seen the blood on her sleeves. Isn’t it time we had a universal expression of solidarity that is kind and true? How about One God? One humanity will follow.”

  11. barsili says:

    Irving, this is a ‘deep’ quote…I sometimes wonder with earthquakes all over the world, floods and other natural and manmade disasters; What if something catastrophic happened and the human race reduced to 1/3 its population? Being in dire need for each other against the elements and other forms of wild and dangerous life out there, we would have to come together as “A PEOPLE”

  12. Sardar Taimur Hyat-Khan says:

    Hur Mulk, Mulk-e-Ma Ast!
    Kay Hur Mulk, Mulk-e-Khuda Ast!
    Every Land is My Land!
    As every land is Allah’s Land!

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