Iran, Nigerian Shi’ites and the Hypocrisy of the Islamic Republics

These are interesting times. Islamic Republic of Iran wants to come into the Nigeria’s affairs, interceding for the Shi’ites who recently had trouble with the authorities. Apparently Iran believes Nigeria loves part of its citizens less than how Iran loves them and so it comes to their rescue. However the national and international moral and legal structures do not provide for what Iran can stand to achieve whatever love it wants to demonstrate to the Nigerian Shi’ites. Probably it was a diplomatic response to its request that PMB delegated our minister of interior ( hope you read the signals) to come down to Kaduna for a fact finding mission about the crisis.

This is interesting because it widely reveals the hypocrisy, emotional foundation, ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the concepts of Islamic Republics within the realities of the modern nation-states.

The Islamic Republics have recently acquired another nation, Gambia, adding to the pool of four. We used to have Saudi, Iran and Pakistan who over the years live within the illusion that they can be Islamic republics and by mere mention and emotional attachment to the idea of being nations that are guided by Islamic principles.

I think the problem began at the very beginning when the idea of nation-states was conceived and fleshed out without the real intellectual input or appreciation of the Muslims experts. Muslim territories then were broken into nation states with the new and alien set of rules of engagements. Then came Islamic movements bent on changing the trends and fate of their nations to reflection of true and ideal Islamic nations. Yet they do this without reflection. Yet their hypocrisy comes out clearly. For they always want to eat their cakes and have them.

When a nation wants to be Islamic, its citizenship requirement has to reflect a form of Islamness. At least Iran, Saudi, Gambia and Pakistan should have made it easier for Muslims from all walks of life to acquire the citizenship of their countries.

In the case of Iran this is what may easily help it demonstrate how much it loves the other Shi’ites across the globe. If it had offered Nigerian Shi’ites its citizenship before, many would have grabbed, since Nigeria has a room for dual citizenship. Then Iran would have acquired a robust locus-standi to beat its chest and confront the Nigerian government on its treatment of Iranian citizens in Nigeria. It would have had its concerns accommodated within the emotional, moral and legal structures obtained in the national and international social conduits. It would have had a legitimate case!

The lesson is clear. If you want to make religion your basic point of reference as a nation don’t do that halfway. When Israel declared its nation for the Jews it accommodated all Jews from anywhere across the globe. Since the entrenchment of the concept of liberal democracy that emphasizes humanness against ethnic and racial affiliations, Western world is a home for humans regardless of any other consideration ( save for the recent trumpeting of the American Trump). Yes this is the rule. You want some physical power under the pretext of Islam, you need some thought and reflection. The modern nation-state is not a product of emotions. It is a well thought out concept. If you want to change its meaning you need to do more than emotional investment. You need to think! If you want to be a complete Muslim, you will not need to be clever by half. You can’t eat your cake and still have it. Whether you are Saudi, Iran, Pakistan or Gambia, the rule is one according to the Qur’an “Enter Islam wholly and completely…”

You can’t keep holding conferences and seminars saying Islam is one nation and Muslims are a single entity( Umma), without commensurate protectiveness to make it real.