When people generally think of Middle East, they either picture newly developed Arab economies or Muslim dominated volatile regions. However, the Middle Eastern society mentioned in Taking sides is not limited to the few nations defined by geo political lines drawn in the map, rather it is a complexly mixed society of religious factions, different ethnic group and political ideologies, each separated within boundaries of nations. As modern history goes, these factions within the Middle Eastern nation has always contributed hostility to the entire region. Primarily, the faction between Sunni and Shiite fundamentalist can be traced as root cause of
This direct linkage between modernization and westernization is, in fact, historically inaccurate. The history of technology development has actually indicated that the ideology or culture doesn’t really influence the modernization. When adopting modernisation, countries, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, doesn’t necessarily need to change its own culture. While most Muslim-majority countries are still undeveloped countries, the driving force is not their culture, but instead the clash of civilization itself. The fault line wars characterised by Huntington in fact have majorly taken place in the Middle East, including the war on terror and the Arab–Israeli War. This clash of civilisation characterised by fault line wars, in fact, leads to the chaos and poverty there. The appearance of this pre-modern image of those Muslim Countries is not the justification for the westernisation but the result of the clash of civilizations. Therefore, the inverted causality is inaccurate, and shall be corrected, as the clash of civilization can, in fact, hardly help those
Huntington introduced a very controversial and debatable theory of clash of civilizations seems to prove itself correct, with the Western Christianity on one hand and the Orthodox Christianity and Islam on the other. He states that clash of civilization is unavoidable and is predicted in the near future. Today, we can already see those tensions and conflicts between civilizations, due to differences in cultures and traditions. While West is becoming more modern, the Islamic world is going back to its roots. Traditions, language and religion separate two civilizations causing conflicts that lead to violence (Huntigton, 25). This clash was mostly highlighted in 9/11 terroristic attack, which separated the West from the East.
Huntington that hypothesised a new post-Cold War world order. Prior to the end of the Cold War, societies were divided by ideological differences such as the struggle between democracy and communism. Huntington’s primary thesis argues, “The most important distinctions among peoples are [no longer] ideological, political or economic. They are cultural.” Huntington makes a very persuasive argument as to how new patterns of conflict will occur along the boundaries of different cultures and patterns of cohesion will be found within the cultural boundaries. The book goes into extensive detail of how world systems between civilizations, which he divides by culture into 7 main global civilizations, are impacted on an international relations scale by this changing nature of conflict. He focuses a great deal on the West’s ability to maintain military superiority through the nonproliferation of emerging powers. In particular relation to 9/11 he focuses on the emerging influence of Islamic culture (which he classifies as it’s own civilization) being quintessential in the emerging new global conflict arisen out of hundreds of years of conflict, military and cultural, between Western civilization and Islamic civilization. The clear limitation of this work is that it is based on his own perception of history and is purely a hypothesis, however it clearly has a great degree of validity to it as we have already seen through the last decade in the rise of terrorism as the new global conflict. This book will assist my essay writing particularly in analysing how 9/11 marked the beginning of a new era of global conflict between powers larger than nation states alone, and thus how this has created increasingly complex paradigms of unprecedented effects on international
The last aspect to point out in more recent times compared to the crusades and colonialism is the cold war, and how that has and will continue to impact the opposing views of western and Islamic societies. According to Samuel Huntington, the cold war the world was separated into the First, Second and Third Worlds, and he sees divisions are no longer relevant and it being “…far more meaningful now to group countries not in terms of their political or economic systems or in terms of their level of economic development but rather in terms of their culture and civilization.” Distinguishing people in the correct way can help further people understanding of the cultural and educate people enough to not fall into such prejudices and stereotypes. Huntington believed that there will be more conflict between the two societies in time to come. One way he expresses this is by the post-cold war conflict in the Persian Gulf, and Caucasus and Bosnia, now although these were not full-scale war between the civilizations, it still involved many “…elements of civilizational rallying, which seemed to become more important as the conflict continued and which may provide a foretaste of the future.” With that, it is notable to see all the differences that has risen recently between China and the United States in such areas
Human history has demonstrated that conflict is inevitable. As long as there are differences of opinion, there is fuel for anything from a brief argument to a war that lasts for years. This truth prevails through ancient history and modern day issues. Over time, conflicts grow, compound, and set the archetypal stages for new issues to be born: conflicts between the rich and poor, the religious and political, the loyalists and rebels, and particularly, the East and West. Since people acknowledged those living in opposite sides of the world, the assumption that they themselves were opposites followed. Often, each thought the other was barbarian, an enemy, and would
In the article by Bartley, it looks at how the West should believe in itself a little bit more and they should see how they are different. The article looks at communication and how it will insure that democracy survives and it mediates our understanding of the world. The article also looks at the “clash of civilizations” and how the conflicts will not be over resources but it will be over the fundamental and often irreconcilable values. This will make the U.S. and the West on the defensive. The article also talks about how there has been a lot of interest in cultural, ethnic and religious values in the Islamic fundamentalism. The article looks at how people in the other countries are being educated in the U.S. There is also a power of prosperity where Western values are becoming an artifact of an exogenous civilization, but a lot of people believe that they are an artifact of economic development itself. At a certain level of prosperity people want power and that the economic development leads to demands for democracy and individual autonomy. The future is no sure thing and it is all about the people.
Ansary says thats its like two parallel universes, the West and the heartland of Islam existed alongside each other for centuries – and ignored each other. For a long time, writes Ansary, each regarded itself as the centre of world history. He comments that it was only in the 17th century that the two perspectives began to overlap. “And because the West was more powerful, its narrative prevailed and suppressed the other.”
The differentiation in ideology of the leading factions within Islam, ironically, has introduced a unifying political philosophy into the region, Islamism. The concept of Islamism defines the governing body’s political claim as a biased interpretation of Koran and its employment of force to vindicate revolutionary violence in the name of Islam (Arjomand Web). The political theory inadvertently ferments political tension by dividing Islam itself within a categorized system (Armojand Web). A similar form of classification was experienced by Iran during the 1970’s and the 1980’s which led to religious factions such as Sunni and the Shia resolving to violence in order to solve long-lasting cultural differences (Tibi Web). The facts assert that even minuscule neighborhoods were divided into Sunni and Shia territories with frequent emigration of a minority group to claim the region (Gosh Web). The historical trend of violent resolution is also eluded to by Khaled Hosseini in his literary works via repeated instances of horrendous domestic strife by the male members of the family in order assert superiority through violence (Hosseini, Thousand 89). The “…sociopolitical and economic…” stances of independent Islamic state induce religious vows into such chaotic instances through Sharia law in order to accomplish personal gains of a political movement through military actions against the alleged enemies (Tibi Web). The regional tensions mentioned have additionally been directly
According to the course readings, there is both a “war of ideas” within the Islamic world and a “war of ideas” between Islamism and Western values. Briefly, identify the contours of each of these two debates, then focus attention on the “war of ideas” within the Islamic world. What is being fought over in this war and what is at stake?
Samuel Huntington sees an emerging world organized on the basis of "civilizations". Societies that share cultural affinities cooperate with each other and the efforts to force a society into another civilization will fail; countries gather around the leading States of their civilization. This description of the process of new structures of international relations that Huntington sees developing, leads him to consider that the greatest risks of violence and confrontation lie in the Westerns’ claims to universality, which are leading them to increasingly get into conflict with other civilizations, particularly Islam and China; local conflicts, especially between Muslims and non-Muslims, generate new alliances and lead to an escalation of violence, which will usually lead the dominant states to make an attempt to stop them.
Culture is the common uniting factors that a community shares. It includes values, customs, habits, thoughts that guide members of the society. Culture can also be defined as practices and knowledge that is transmitted to the generation by social interactions between members of a social community (Pohlong 1). It differs from community to community. The purpose of the essay is to relate and differentiate culture from religion, especially the Islamism and identify the reasons this particular religion is prone to stereotyping.
In the history of the world, times of war have always outnumbered times of peace. Numerous causes, both known and unknown, have fueled this need for war between groups of people. As ‘civilizations’ or religions, there is no inherent ethic reason to declare full, complete, and unwavering wars on one another. Instead, non-religious or cultural reasons such as the gathering or growth of wealth and land lead to wars. Statements suggesting otherwise, such as Samuel Huntington’s article "The Clash of Civilizations?” should be treated as at best, a large misunderstanding, and at worse deliberate fearmongering. As stated by Edward W. Said on the article, The Clash of Ignorance, “In fact, Huntington is an ideologist, someone who wants to make "civilizations" and "identities" into what they are not: shut-down, sealed-off entities that have been purged of the myriad currents and countercurrents that animate human history, and that over centuries have made it possible for that history not only to contain wars of religion and imperial conquest but also to be one of exchange, cross-fertilization and sharing.”. Clearly put, the concept of a “Clash of Civilizations” does nothing to explain the historical times of war and peace between Islam and Christianity.
The geographical divergence that creates the distinction between West and the East is accompanied by many factors that strengthen the ever-existing tension. Their contradiction derives from historical and contemporary features defining the two “oppositions”. Historically we could name the colonisation processes and wars between them, at the present the main reason is the modern globalized world. Namely, the impossibility of the Islamic world to adjust itself in the realms of economically and culturally powerful development. In general, however, their great contradiction is in the perception of life - in particular – their driving force. The East concentrates on religion,
Huntington predicted that future clashes will occur between civilizational blocks, Muslim and Christians or Muslin and Hindu for example. However, the Lebanese and Bangladeshi cases show that clashes occur between civilizations as shown above, but also within civilizational blocks - or even within religious groups -.