As obvious as it might seem, it is more complicated than it appears. While for those who rule the masses division is better, the latter – who make up the vast majority of population, agree that unity is better than division. Then, what is unity and why is it better for the masses? What divides and what unifies people?
To begin with, people need each other for procreation. In order to sustain human population, a male and a female have no natural choice but to cooperate. This is the very basic level of unity in society. So, it is unity which guarantees the maintenance of human population, not division.
In addition, the access to natural resources on Earth would be either impossible or very ineffective if individuals of human society don’t cooperate. Not only unity increases exponentially the access to natural resources, but even the human intellectual power increases exponentially if people cooperate and complete each other. Different people have different abilities, so naturally together they are part of a whole. The more unified they are, the better and more prosperous the whole society will become.
As I stated at the beginning, this is obvious. I didn’t say anything new. We all agree that unity is good and division is bad, but we disagree on the means of unification.
What one might call division, others call it unification or unity and vice versa. However, we should and must agree on one thing: what lies at the foundation of unity is ideology, not the desire or the need to get united. Ideology teaches people how to get united, how to see the world, how to agree and disagree, how to overlook secondary things and focus on the essence and the greater good, and how to increase social cohesion. Ideology teaches people what is good and what is bad, and this leads to uniformity and unity.
Secularism, for example, as the ideology of those who rule, places more emphasis on division than unity. It preaches nationalism – me vs. you, countries, borders, political parties and groups. Its discourse is extremely focused on racism and gender by indirectly inciting division as it is not interested in fixing the assumed problem, but to remind people of it. Secularism proposes fake means of unity, such as color, language, flag, propaganda, general aspirations of people, rather than real means of unification, such as ideology. We all know that it is not language which brings people together, but ideology: the way we see the world.
Objectively speaking, Secularism is all about division to the extent that it targets the society at an individual level: no two individuals should be together, especially ideologically.
Now I understand better why the Quran considers unity a great blessing, which is not easy to be achieved: “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah and do not be divided. Remember Allah’s favor upon you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so you—by His grace—became brothers… [3:103]