Saturday, February 04, 2012

Samuel Huntington's Return & the Clash Between Muslims and the West

One of the books I'm reading is Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. It is, as states, "one of the most influential books ever written about foreign affairs." The thesis is that "civilizations" have repalced nations and ideologies as the driving force in global politics today.

Yesterday Mohammed Ayoob, Professor of International Relations at Michigan State Univrersity, wrote an article for called "Is Europe setting up clash between Muslims and the West?" Ayoob begins:

"Europe and the Muslim world seem to be on a collision course that could have major political, economic and ideological ramifications. January 23, 2012, may well come to be remembered as the crucial date when Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations" thesis, which many of us believed discredited beyond repair, was reaffirmed."

So what happened on January 23, 2012?

  • Europe alienated Muslim powers Iran and Turkey.
  • The EU decided to ban oil purchases from Iran. Europe imports one-fifth of its oil from Iran. "When combined with a ban on transactions with Iran's Central Bank, this action is aimed at paralyzing the Iranian economy."
  • At the same time the French Senate passed a law making it a crime to deny genocides. Uh-oh. Because Turkey has denied the Armenian genocide of 1912, this marks the Turkish government as criminal.
Even if this genocide happened, Ayoob says the Muslim perception is that Europe is marginalizing Islam, which is one of Huntington's civilizations.

See the entire article for more explanation.