Cosmopolitan citizenship in the Middle East | openDemocracy

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Cosmopolitan citizenship in the Middle East | openDemocracy

Superb piece by Sami Zubaida on Ottoman Cosmopolitanism and its sad decline.

'In the popular mind, international relations were conceived in communalist terms: European powers are Christian and in league with local Christians against Islam and Muslims. This communalist model, with umma nationalism at its core has been revived in different forms in recent religious politics. Nationalist and anti-imperialist ideology and advocacy commonly construe political and military confrontations, such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, as an attack on Muslims as such, by Christians (‘Crusaders’), Jews and Hindus. The complex geo-political issues involved are obscured or subordinated in favour of a spurious religious conception of the conflicts. President Obama’s conciliatory address to the ‘Muslim world’ seems to acquiesce in this formulation.'