Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the clash of civilizations

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is my favorite former member of the Dutch parliament, had a splendid op-ed in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. She writes in part:

What do the controversies around the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, the eviction of American missionaries from Morocco earlier this year, the minaret ban in Switzerland last year, and the recent burka ban in France have in common? All four are framed in the Western media as issues of religious tolerance. But that is not their essence. Fundamentally, they are all symptoms of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington called the "Clash of Civilizations," particularly the clash between Islam and the West.
(And Sam Huntington is my favorite late Harvard professor, not only for The Clash of Civilizations but even more for his magnificent analysis of the American experiment, Who Are We?)

Ms. Ali concludes with this bit of advice:
We need to recognize the extent to which the advance of radical Islam is the result of an active propaganda campaign. According to a CIA report written in 2003, the Saudis invested at least $2 billion a year over a 30-year period to spread their brand of fundamentalist Islam. The Western response in promoting our own civilization was negligible.

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.
Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Labels: , ,


At 7:45 PM, Blogger Antoinette said...

A great example of clear thinking. Thanks for the post.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home