Wednesday, March 05, 2003
This may be the last Arab summit, which is perhaps the true profit of this meeting. At long last we will be able to be nation-states and not a meaningless Arab nation.
The words are from an Egyptian commentator on the recent, farcical Arab summit. All I can say is: from your mouth, and the pages of Ha'aretz to God's ear.
I've blogged before (see here, here, here, here, here and here, for example) about the importance of an authentic nationalism to the ultimate emergence of the Arab world from its present dark age. The notion of an "Arab Nation," like that of a "Nation of Islam" is an evasion of a real nationalism and a cause of, not a solution to, their predicament, comparable to Slavophilism and German Aryan racial theories. I don't know if there's anything we, in the West, can do to promote the development of a healthy, authentic nationalism, other than by our own example. I suspect there's very little we can do. But we should certainly encourage any glimmerings we see.