This struggle between political Islam and the West will stay with us well into the next decade and, perhaps, beyond. It will end only when Islamists are effectively defeated and political Islam expunged similar to the defeat of German Nazis and Japanese militarists.
The struggle of this nature is invariably ugly. It is also bewildering to people caught in the midst of the struggle.
I like Professor Salim Mansur (University of Western Ontario) and have appreciated his political and foreign affairs comments in the Toronto Sun. Over the past few years we have exchanged emails. He has read some of my weblog pieces. However, I believe Islam is a major problem.
The ideology, at least the religiosity, requires serious reform, which means modern and reasonable interpretations of the Qu'ran taught to children. The true believers will have to fade away, since they likely will not change their ingrained beliefs. But, in the meantime, mainstream Islam and followers need to be watched over... perhaps by informants.
Of course, there are decent Muslims, such as Canadian-Muslim Salim who goes a few steps further by stating his views.
From my perspective — one shaped by travels, readings and talking with people in foreign lands — there is a seismic shift unfolding in global politics and culture.
The man who sensed this shift perhaps most acutely, and described presciently its effect as the “clash of civilizations” was Samuel Huntington.
Samuel Huntington (Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University) developed a theory originally formulated in a 1992 lecture at the American Enterprise Institute, which became "The Clash of Civilizations?" in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article. He opens in I. THE NEXT PATTERN OF CONFLICT...
World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be -- the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.
In his American Enterprise Institution speech Samuel Huntington mentions Bernard Lewis. Years ago I met him at the University of Toronto after a speech. And I have read several of his books such as "The Crisis of Islam".
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"The Clash of Civilizations" — will continue until