Leyla Shen wrote:Diebert wrote:In general I think the idea of some mythical or real historical homeland is crucial to most forms of nationalism; [...]
But this is only operative in the absence of or after the civil state has failed.
I'm not so sure of that. Just take two examples of Italian and German Nationalism in the 1930's and 40's. For Germany, the concept of a German homeland as Großdeutschland was defining for the nationalist sentiment. Also referrals to the older German and holy Roman empire were often made. Italian nationalism was firmly based on the territory of the Roman empire. In Spain fascism linked back to the mighty Spanish empire of old although I'm not sure to what extent.
I can think of many “peoples” who might share similar traditions and cultures, but I cannot think of any two ethnic peoples yet who have shared the same religion when defining their ethnicity outside of anything on the order of a successful civil state, matters of territory notwithstanding.
What about the Kurds or the Turkmen? I'll admit their religion is not very particular to their ethnicity.
One might venture to argue that, for example, the cause of all conflicts today is Islamic fundamentalism fostered by radical Islamic states. Such a one, however, is utterly and sometimes even willfully ignorant of history and how and why those particular nation-states came about and the fundamentals upon which they were created.
Even with ideologist networks as Al-Qaeda their main populist concern is linkage to holy lands or holy sites - and what is seen as their occupation. Then you have the earlier Pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism which does not have so much of a religious context but one of culture - with in mind the glory days of that culture: the Arab empire. The days of this particular fever seems over though and it's possible the internationally oriented Muslim faith, lacking a clear bond to one specific region always has weakened Arab nationalism. I'm tempted to see this as two competing religious sentiments in this case.