Nationalist Muslims: Antidote to Islamists?
Most Muslim-majority nations are stitched together nations; that is, forced marriages of several other peoples with independent and even conflicting existences. Most people, for instance, know that Iraq was formed with Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Few of them, however, realize the Iran is only about 60 percent Persian. The other 40 percent are comprised of different national groups, most Muslim, many still yearning for independence. Pakistan's dominant ethnic group, Punjabis, make up only about 45 percent of that country. Both Iran and Pakistan both have several Sunni Muslim peoples straining under their oppressive yokes and looking for their independence.
I've been one of the characteristics of radical Islam is that it owes no allegiance to any national entity, except perhaps for temporary, strategic reasons. Its view is universal; we refer to a worldwide Caliphate. The groups mentioned above reject that and emphasize nationalism. Moreover, part of their nationalism virulently rejects Islamism and seeks to re-establish nations that are equally welcoming to people of all faiths. They also believe that the current nations of Iran and Pakistan are tied to radical Islam; and they oppose that as much as the occupation of their countries.
Is the West missing an opportunity if it does not support these peoples?
Do they also provide a real alternative to the flailing about for non-radical Muslims, which often settles on faux moderates?