Civilizational Conflict

The world is on edge. Tectonic change is occurring before our eyes. While the shifts are profound it will require historical analysis in the future to sort it all out. However, there are things we know, conditions that are transforming global affairs.

For one thing we are witnessing a dramatic difference in civilizational outlooks. The West is inherently optimistic and eager to embrace the future. Islam, or at least significant elements of it, rejects modernity and wants to return to a simpler time when Islam was on the ascendency.

A sense that the West has passed Islam economically, perhaps philosophically has engendered an anxiety among many Muslims. The response is a belief and desire to refashion the West, to tear down its “superior” institutions and foment uneasiness about its role in world affairs. This deep seated hostility is embedded in militant Islam – a culture of schadenfreude.

Spokesmen for Islam contend the West is morally perverse and corrupt with a culture that promotes debasement.  The openness and pornographic displays are used by imams as an example of Western decay. By contrast, Islam allows for honor killings, stonings and the marginalization of women. Cultural investments are so hard and fast, there isn’t any way to cross the divide.

Hence what Samuel Huntington called the Clash of Civilizations is inevitable. A pulling back, a retreat may occur episodically, but the basic differences are likely to be resolved through conflict.

There are the rationalizers seeking a modus vivendi. There are others who attempt to isolate extremism, which is, of course, the right thing to do. But increasingly, violence is not perceived through the lens of distinction. Fear only encourages extremism and extremism reinforces the clash of civilizations in which we are already immersed.

Full article: Civilizational Conflict (Family Security Matters)

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