Religion and Nationalism

Religion and Nationalism

If a journalist asks your first preference between two important identity which one carries all his/her life, i.e. religion and nationalism, which one comes first? Shakhrukh Khan (SRK), India’s Bollywood mega-star, told BBC a few years back that he prefers nationalism as his first choice. The same question with the same answer also comes from Amir Khan, the most respected India’s actor and comes second to SRK only in terms of making box office.

Actually, to some that’s a tricky question. In Indonesia that’s not a question worth answering, at least to the majority of Muslim Indonesia. Two largest Muslim organisation, NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) and Muhammadiyah, had accepted the Pancasila (pron. panchaseela), the philosophical foundation of the country, as their basic organisation manifesto.

Which means nationalism comes first on the ground that within the Pancasila itself there consist of one point in which freedom to practice one own religion is guaranteed by the Constitution. So, the two point, religion and nationality, in the eye of many Indonesian should not necessarily be considered as two contradicting entities.

In other part of the world, like Pakistan, however, the above question might be understandable.[]