Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Part 9

Well if it is not poverty and education that are the primary reason for this tense state of affairs then what can it be. Is it simply that Arab and American cultures are too incompatible? Can it be that there is a fundamental difference of civilizations between liberal, progressive America and traditional, conservative Arab Nations? No. There is no clash of civilizations; there is a veritable war of sovereignty and independence. Arabs could care less whether all Americans walk around naked, drink alcohol and fornicate all day. It is not what goes on in America that matters to the Arabs; it is what goes on at home, their homes. The polls above have demonstrated that the divide is not one of values. Proponents of this clash-of-civilizations view forget that the United States itself is not a monolithic swath of liberalism. They ignore the resurgent conservatism that is taking over large parts of the United States. Likewise the Middle East is not a monolith; there is traditional Saudi Arabia, next to ultra progressive UAE and Qatar while risque Lebanese, Egyptian and Moroccan music videos spill across the Middle East. The word clash implies that there is an irreconcilable difference between the two regions but that is not true. In fact, Americans and Arabs are much closer in their moral values than Arabs and Europeans per se and Europeans are much closer, geographically, to the Middle East. Why aren’t European Capitals going up in flames for their excessive liberalism that is by far more progressive than American liberalism? Why don’t the majorities of most Arab nations hate France, Germany or Italy? In this context, “clash of civilizations” doesn’t make sense, unless “clash of civilizations” is code for “Islam’s incompatibility with modern civilization.”


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9:02 PM  

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