I Love My Country. Does My Country Love Me?
August 11, 2006 § 8 Comments
I am an American citizen, I have lived in the United States all of my life. I have been a child in the US and matured into adulthood as a member of US. I have married, had children and raised my family here in the United States of America. I am an American by every stretch of the term. Although, I love my country, I condemn destructive forms of patriotism and nationalism that are antithetical to Social Justice and border on racism.
Americans must keep in mind that it was not even a half a century ago that this country was riddled in racism, bigotry and injustices that were rooted in skin pigmentation and ethnic origin. To assume that this has been eliminated, wiped clean from the culture due to the courageous efforts of a social movement fifty years ago would just be unintelligent.
I believe that this country could use another movement, but not a movement led by politicians such a the No Child Left Behind Act, but something real that hits at the core of our society and not an attention getting topic to please lobbies and win voters. A real movement that speaks to the people. The only problem with this is that the people of the US are so bogged down trying to keep their heads above water that there seems to be no time to consider anything else but bills, food and sleep (notice the order). Even in our work environment things are just so mundane, you go to work and all you do is work then you have a break where all you do is talk about work, then you go back to work… what is that all about!
Occasionally, you find a way to get a vacation, but the families struggle hard just to find a moment to get away. In most cases the only time one stops to think about higher virtues is on their Holy day if that! This has an effect on the people whether they know it or not. For example in Muslim countries people pray together several times a day, you may be next to a perfect stranger of different ethnic origin every single day praying to God, asking for his Protection and Guidance. This was written about recently in an article from the International Herald Tribune regarding the work ethics of Muslims. The article praises Muslim’s work ethics and attributes their success to a strong value system. A comparison of this value system and that of the West is best illustrated in a comment saying,
“In European countries, workers take a 15-minute smoking break; here we take a 15-minute prayer break,” said Ahmet Herdem, the mayor of Hacilar, a town of 20,000 people in this deeply religious and socially conservative region of Central Anatolia, which has produced some of Turkey’s best-known companies. “During this time, you are in front of God and you can ask him to help improve business and this is good for morale.” (Internation Herald Tribune)
With all of the controversy about Islam people rarely get to see what Islam brings to the table and why people defend it in the face of those people who are trying to destroy it whether consciously or unconsciously. It is because Islam has as its primary interest Social Justice and the improvement of the quality of life for the people not just a select group. Islam is the only governing principle that I am aware of that has actually brought civility and brotherhood to typically waring parties of varying ethnicities for hundreds of years (Al-Andalus, etc.).
What other governing body has ever achieved this feat?