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Zman
09-12-2007, 03:32 PM
:sl:
Is There Really A Clash Of Cultures?

So what are the policy implications of the increasingly blended relations between Islam and the West?

For the United States to restore its influence in the Muslim world, we need to fill our front lines with diplomats who listen, not soldiers who shoot.


By: Allen Keiswetterstar
Telegram.com
9/11/2007
IslamiCity

Six years after 9-11, why are we still talking about "Islam and the West"?

Islam is a religion, and the West is a geographical term. Why not juxtapose Islam and Christendom, given that both are religions that span many cultures? Or Middle East and the West, given that both are geographical entities?

Islam's 1.3 billion adherents stretch from Morocco to Indonesia, encompassing widely divergent cultures and beliefs. The West as a term of political geography is a remnant from the Cold War, when the West confronted the communist East.

Now it is not so much a place as a diverse set of political and economic ideas shared in various degrees from Japan to Latin America, not just in Europe and North America. In fact, Islam and the West today are increasingly blended, not divided, because of globalization.

Islam in the West is commonplace, including a growing Muslim population with increasing numbers of mosques and hallal markets.

Similarly, the West has penetrated deeply even into the cradle of Islam itself. McDonald's serves hallal hamburgers, not only at its three franchises in the holy city of Mecca but also at franchises in Michigan and London.

What does this blending mean for Samuel Huntington's famous theory about a "clash of civilizations" between Islam and the West?

Such a clash is hardly the predominant characteristic of the recent era of international relations.

Since 1945, more conflicts have erupted within civilizations than between them, and Christianity has been a more violent religion than Islam if judged by the number of conflicts.
Generally, civilizational differences seem to exacerbate other differences rather than provoke conflict. The sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Iraqis illustrates the point in the post-9-11 world.

Second, Islam and the West are not fated to clash. The diverse views within both Islam and the West provide scope for either reconciliation or conflict.

The "sword" verses in the Quran are often used by both Islamists and their critics in the West to portray conflict as foreordained. I see a stronger argument in the "peace" verses of the Quran for reconciliation among the "people of the book" for those on either side who want it.

Third, we should not ignore the strong areas of cooperation. Those who focus on a clash of civilizations ignore the broad areas of cooperation in trade, energy, defense and even counterterrorism that mark relations between Islam and the West today.
The Bush administration's pending $20 billion arms deal with our Persian Gulf allies is just one example.

Yes, there are differences between Islam and the West:

Opinion polls highlight differences over issues like divorce, abortion, gender equality and gay rights.

These differences characterize traditional societies in general and spill over into the West.


The current split over gay issues within the Episcopal Church is an example.


Interestingly, support for democracy is higher among Arabs than in any other group, possibly because of their identification of democracy with economic well-being.

Surveys like the Pew Research Poll also show a decline in support for terrorism in Islamic countries. But that depends on where you live.

Support remains high among Palestinians, but the jihadist campaign of al Qaeda is losing its appeal in Morocco, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries wracked by terrorism.

In short, Osama bin Laden is no longer a street hero.

Six years after 9-11, there is a promising dialogue centering on Islamic Issues:

Within Islam, particularly among the Sunnis, the debate about ijtihad, or interpretation, has intensified.

Muslims are seeking new answers to the abiding questions about Islam's place in the world, fueling a growth of Islamic feminism and advocacy of practical reforms as espoused in U.N. Arab Human Development Reports.

So what are the policy implications of the increasingly blended relations between Islam and the West?

For the United States to restore its credibility and influence in the Muslim world, we need to fill our front lines with diplomats who listen, not soldiers who shoot.


Allen Keiswetter is an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute. 1761 N Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2882 http://www.mideasti.org/

Source:
http://www.islamicity.com/articles/A...ef=ST0709-3361
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wilberhum
09-12-2007, 04:27 PM
America is in the West.
America is not the West.
I do believe There is Really A Clash Of Cultures.
Why? Because Muslims on this and other forums keep saying there is.
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Zman
09-12-2007, 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by wilberhum
America is in the West.
America is not the West.
I do believe There is Really A Clash Of Cultures.
Why? Because Muslims on this and other forums keep saying there is.
Yes, the West is always the innocent victim.

Huntington, Pipes, Freanklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert, the Pope, numerous Israeli leaders, te Neocons, the Zio-Nazi's, Beck, and much, much more didn't utter a word about a clash.

Western papers and people's never said that we're trying to "invade and Islamize" Europe?

Yeah, right!
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wilberhum
09-12-2007, 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by Zman
Yes, the West is always the innocent victim.
Huntington, Pipes, Freanklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert, the Pope, numerous Israeli leaders, te Neocons, the Zio-Nazi's, Beck, and much, much more didn't utter a word about a clash.

Western papers and people's never said that we're trying to "invade and Islamize" Europe?

Yeah, right!
Gee, I didn't know you thought "the West is always the innocent victim".
I would have to totally disagree with that. The West as with the East and the rest of humanity are always a mix if good and bad.

I would have thought you were smart enough to figure that out.
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Amadeus85
09-12-2007, 05:00 PM
[QUOTE=Zman;827887]
Yes, the West is always the innocent victim.
And who says this? Person who thinks that muslim world is always innocent. :rollseyes

Huntington, Pipes, Freanklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggert, the Pope, numerous Israeli leaders, te Neocons, the Zio-Nazi's, Beck, and much, much more didn't utter a word about a clash.
If you add to this list hundreds of muslim imams who preach hateful speeches against non-muslims in the whole world, also in West, you will have the whole image.

Western papers and people's never said that we're trying to "invade and Islamize" Europe?

Yeah, right!
What? :?
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wilberhum
09-12-2007, 05:33 PM
Austria holds three over 'threat'
Three people have been arrested in Austria in connection with a video posted on a website threatening attacks on Germany and Austria, officials say.
The video was made by Islamic militants and published in March, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.
(More)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6991392.stm

More "Proof" of how evil the West really is.
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