You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it. 

Malcolm X رحمه الله


For as long as I can remember, I could not, and still cannot, understand when we state we are proud of our race, nationality and ethnicity. A question always floated in my mind: how can we be proud when there was no choice, contribution or accomplishment?

It is irrational to maintain pride because of skin colour and ethnic origin for ALLÂH ﷻ created us that way. As for nationality, if it is a place of birth, it was not a choice where we were born.

So why do we continuously claim pride when they are without choosing?

Add to that, followers of any religion asserting pride because of religious belief rather than embodying it as a way of life.

When we declare such nonsense, “proud to be”, we are often trying to prove something to ourselves – an affirmation – with a need to share with others – a compensation for a deficiency.

We either lost the meaning or never knew what the word pride meant to begin with.


In the words of Arthur Schopenhauer,

The cheapest sort of pride is national pride . . . every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.

National pride, love for one’s country ethnicity-wise or nationality-wise, is an empty and false one. 

It is a vice, far from being virtuous.

It is a slow-killing virus infecting the heart.

There is something disturbingly wrong with anyone who claims ethnocracy or national pride for racism is involved, in varying degrees, with an absence of mercy or empathy for humanity. A semblance of superiority, though masking a deeply rooted sense of inferiority, in more ways than one.

Even more disconcerting, if racism is present within us, we need to introspect deeply for we are not realising the implication behind it.

ALLÂH ﷻ created us to look a certain way, so what does it imply when we are emphasising our own, or asserting a dislike for another fellow human being’s complexion and features?

{وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ}

{And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colours [race]. Indeed, in that are signs for those of knowledge.}


Ramblers of patriotism often are: people who are abusing their power with submissive followers; have little or no accomplishments opting to go on about something they did not do; use it to explain injustices; and/or bigots who hide behind it.

History is replete with injustices because of the fallacy of patriotism, pride, ethnicity, nationality and race, which is still ongoing today.

Whenever the US or Lebanon, as two examples, rave on about their country or army pride, I cannot help but laugh.

Considering the former, all one needs to do is read the bloody history until today, all shed under the guise of patriotism. The latter is in utter ruins with a useless army that cannot even defend its land.

Yet, both countries – one with a superiority complex and the other an inferiority one – go on and on about love for the land and army via anthems, songs, etc.

One can only wonder as to why.

Since you would not declare pride of your height or bone structure, – though I would not be surprised if there are people who do this – it is equally injudicious to say so about race, nationality or ethnicity.

If this continues to exist, this world will never ever be at peace, with inequality only rising. George Bernard Shaw articulated,

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.


The rightful feeling of pride should arise when one has achieved or has a quality that is worthy of such a sentiment.

However, often people who are proud of their deeds tend not to declare it for their character and works portray their pride. They are confident personalities and characters who have no desire to “show off”.

Ayn Rand said it so eloquently,

Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man’s life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive work – pride is the result.

Pride is, without question, not in matters you had no choice in or control over and it is not a badge, placard or group.

Moreover, it is not in someone else’s achievements.

Patriotism should be about the country you reside regardless of race, nationality or ethnicity, devoid of any prejudices.

Patriotism is speaking out when a wrong or an injustice is committed and against abusive power, in defence of right and the defenceless.

One of the best forms of patriotism is as Howard Zinn wisely stated,

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

It is an avowal of love for humankind for better living upholding virtues like equality, freedom, justice and respect.

For this, it is essential to define nationalism and patriotism for they are not synonymous, as George Orwell clarifies,

. . . one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.

Patriotism is not obsequiousness, ostentatious public displays or shrouding in flags and lyrics.

To be proud and to be a patriot, all comes down to two matters: TRANSPARENCY and HONEST ACTION, for oneself and others. It is the loudest declaration one can make without any pretences.


So, what are you “proud to be” and, if you are, why? Take a mindful moment to reflect on this.


1 Comment

  1. For me, I cannot be prideful of any nation that lies and cheats its people or other nations. For me, Pride and Patriotism don’t necessarily go hand in hand. I have not found a nation anywhere in this great world, created by someone greater than I, that should be so proud and patriotic that they don’t see the dark secrets for what they are.

    I believe in honesty, integrity, purity of heart, compassion for all life and love and forgiveness. I cannot honor any nation, including my own, for deeds that we try to make everyone else’s problem instead of accepting responsibility for the truth for our bad and dishonorable behavior. That is why we are at war more than we’ve ever been at peace. I wish I could say otherwise. But that would be a lie.


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