Frontiers of Law, Political Science and Art

A 'non western' reading of the 'clash of civilizations' theory: Through the eyes of 'the rest'

Abstract


Memoona Sajjad

The Clash of Civilizations theory is thoroughly rooted in its context, which makes it a post Cold War paradigm vindicating post Cold War American foreign policy. Huntington‘s thought falls exactly in line with the repertoire of Orientalist discourse in the West. His assumptions are drawn from secondary sources, are reductionist and simplistic. The real agenda underlying the thesis presented by Huntington is perpetuating Western dominance and hegemony on the globe through the creation of a new enemy and the generation of fear and hatred against it in the public mind. The Clash‘ theory fits well with the growing needs of America‘s powerful and expansive military-industrial complex defined by its Capitalist ideology. The rhetoric of the Clash of Civilizations works well to disguise the geopolitical and strategic interests of the West in the Muslim world. ???The West and the Rest‘ is an artificial construct based on historical fallacies and sharpening cleavages in order to maintain a ???wartime status‘ in the Western mind. Western policy and rhetoric after September 11 seems to have officially adopted the Clash of Civilizations theory. Islamophobia in the West has gone mainstream and has generated an understandably militant response from the Muslim world. This creates a vicious cycle of hostility breeding conflict. If the trend continues, the Clash of Civilizations might become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Both the Orient and the West need to actively pursue ways to prevent such a disastrous eventuality.

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