A discussion on the conflict between the Islamist political ideology (Islamism) and Western Civilization
The following is a revised excerpt from my Master’s dissertation from 2015, entitled, ‘Terrorism or treason? A comparative case analysis of the Canadian and Australian response to the Islamist ideology’.
The distinction between Islamism as a political totalitarian ideology, and the Religion of Islam, is essential for understanding the West’s contemporary confrontation with Islamist terrorist groups. The significance of this distinction is supported by Ismail (2004) who describes that a ‘Muslim’ – one who adheres to the Religion of Islam – cannot be defined or boxed into a specific identity. Ismail (2004) distinguishes between political ‘Islamism’ and religious ‘Islam’ and argues that there are a multitude of Muslim political and religious ‘identities’ (p. 631). Recognizing the diversity of Muslims worldwide, ‘Islamism’ can refer to any number of political systems in predominantly Muslims nations such as, but not limited to, Indonesia (Merlyna 2011), Pakistan (Marsden 2008 & Vali 2004), and Turkey (Toprak 2005, Tugal 2002). However, taken more broadly, ‘Islamism’ and the Islamist political ideology can also refer to a totalitarian ideology in the same way as fascism and communism. According to Crowder et al. (2014), “The least contentious definition of Islamism is that of a ‘contemporary movement that conceives Islam as a political ideology’ – and thus the people who subscribe to this ideology are ‘Islamists’” (p. 120). Whereas Crowder et al. (2014) trace the roots of contemporary Islamists to events in the 1970s such as the oil crisis and the Iranian Revolution (p. 120), Tibi (2009) supports this by describing how the roots of contemporary Islamism begin with the Six Day War in 1967 (p. 136). Moreover, Tibi (2009) also recognizes the diversity within Islamism by defining it as a “general movement” where, “… Islamists are not always in agreement among themselves” (p. 137). According to Tibi (2009), “Islamism is a general movement that is characterised both by unity and by diversity. All varieties of this Islamist movement pursue the same religionised political agenda for establishing al-nizam all Islami, i.e. a shari’a-based Islamic order” (p. 120). Moreover, Tibi (2009) describes the underlying premise of Islamism whereby, “All Islamists also share the same worldview of a belief in the siyadat al-Islam (supremacy of Islam), based on a universal rabbaniyya (theocentrism) that has been politicised to the point where it has become a religionised modern internationalism” (p. 137). In other words, the objective of contemporary Islamists, in a general sense, is the establishment of their worldview for global world order.
Why The West must stand with Nigeria in the fight against Islamists
The purpose of this article is to discuss the ongoing campaign by Islamist organizations to systemically eliminate Christians in Africa, and why this matters to The West. Significantly, the elimination of Christians at the behest of Islamic conquerors is not by any means a new phenomenon. In fact, Belgian historian Henri Pirenne (1968) argued that the Muslim invasion of Christian lands in North Africa, The Byzantine Empire (The Levant), and even Spain, supports this claim. Notably the Muslim conquest of Spain was not without greater ambition. “But why stop at Spain?” Pirenne asks. “No sooner was the Peninsula completely subdued than in 720 the Musulmans captured Narbonne, and then laid siege to Toulouse, thus encroaching on the Frankish kingdom” (Pirenne 1968 p. 156). According to Pirenne, the ability of the Franks to repel the Muslim invasions of what we now call France, is what in fact led to the creation of The West. This article will briefly discuss the modern Islamist attempt at conquest in Nigeria, and why this matters to The West.
Three Reasons why Huntington still matters
The purpose of this article is to argue why Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ argument is essential for understanding global political relationships in 2015, and why the argument will be necessary to prevent conflicts in the near future. In summary, Huntington’s clash of civilizations takes place in a post-Cold War setting and is based on the premise that global politics will no longer be defined along ideological, ‘communist vs capitalist’ lines. Instead, according to Huntington, human politics in the near future will be motivated by culture. Huntington's 'near future' is the now, the year 2015. Since civilizations, according to Huntington, are the macro-representations of culture, it is sensible to then claim that global politics will be driven by civilizational identification and interaction. This article will examine three reasons why Huntington still matters through briefly describing events in 'Asia', Russia, and Turkey as evidence to support Huntington’s claim that global politics is functioning along cultural, albeit civilizational, lines.
What is the West?
The West is an idea...
By: Matthew S Cwihun
The term 'the west' is used in many different contexts. For some, 'the west' is a place, or a collection of different places. For others, 'the west' is an idea, or rather more accurately: an ideology. Since the purpose of WeternCrisis.com is to report on the 'the west' amidst 'the clash of civilizations', it is important to analyze the concept of 'the west' in order to arrive at a basic understanding of how the term is applied within the context of this website. Although it may take a multi-volume book series to accurately analyze 'the west', the purpose of this essay is to provide a general outline of the concept of 'the west' thereby providing you with the criteria required to understand how 'the west' is applied throughout the writings of westerncrisis.com. Therefore, this essay will briefly discuss 'the west' in its various forms while arguing that the west is both a place and an ideology. Or more appropriately: the west refers to those geopolitical places, those societies, which share a common foundation on the 'western idea'.
Is There a ‘Clash of Civilizations’? Revisiting Huntington’s Thesis, Thirty-Years Later
This essay was written for a topic in Culture and Public Policy which I took while studying to complete my Masters of Public Administration in September 2013.
Writing in the midst of the Cold War, the late historian Carroll Quigley described civilizations as dynamic, complicated products of the social sciences containing “subjective elements” that change through time (Quigley 1979 p. 85). Quigley offered this explanation as part of his monumental historical examination of human history titled, “The Evolution of Civilizations” (Quigley 1979). The geopolitical world has evolved considerably since then and new explanations for defining the Post-Cold War world have emerged. Notably, Francis Fukuyama declared the liberal democratic model of governance as triumphant (Fukuyama 1995), while others were not so optimistic. In this regard, Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” (Huntington 1993a 1993b) offered a model for understanding geopolitical developments in the Post-Cold War World through expanding on the concept of civilizations.
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