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National identity is often cited as a major contributing factor to many of the world's worst trouble spots, for example Palestinians versus Jews in Israel, the troubles in Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Bangladesh, Armenia and Tibet. This book addresses the issue of why national identity is so important. It examines how it differs from racial, ethnic and regional identity and how it originated in both the West and the Third World. The relationship between national identity and language is shown by the author to be important, but crucial to an enduring sense of national identity is religion and it capacity to separate groups of people.