West finds new enemy in Islam

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Muslim News" <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 10:48:18 +0100

The confrontation between the capitalist West and the Communist bloc came to an 
end with the fall of the Soviet Union in the early nineties. Since then, 
Western strategists, particularly in the United States, have been looking for a 
new “enemy” to take the role vacated by the Communists. 

The “candidate” they found was Islam. With its intellectual values and social 
vitality, Islam appeared to the West as a tough competitor. Consequently, many 
began to look at Islam as a looming “danger” to the West. A state of hysteria 
was whipped up against Islam by the media. The famous British writer Fred 
Halliday termed this attitude to Islam as “anti-Islamism.” He attributed the 
spread of anti-Muslim feelings to the end of the Cold War to the fast-growing 
ultraright movements in Europe and America. 

A German writer, Gerhard Konselman, published a book titled “Challenge of 
Islam.” He issued a pocket edition of the book because he wanted his ideas to 
get the widest possible circulation among people. According to Dr. Taib 
Taizini, professor of Philosophy at the Damascus University, the German author 
sounds an alarm bell to Westerners about Islam in the coming decades. In 
support of his theory, he quoted the anti-American demonstrations by Muslims in 
Izmir, Dhaka, Calcutta, Lahore and Tehran where American cultural centers were 
stoned. He particularly noted the attack on the German Embassy building in 
Islamabad. The writer’s final conclusion is that Muslims view the West as their 
“permanent enemy.” 

The same argument is heard in America. Professor Pierre Puzin of Warwick 
University, who published the article, “The Realpolitik in the New World: New 
Style for International Security in the 21st Century,” in the American 
International Affairs Journal is a noted example. 

Dr. Muhammad Abid Al-Jabiri, noted Arab thinker, has reviewed Puzin’s book in a 
series of articles in the Emarati newspaper Al-Ittihad. He calls the phenomenon 
a struggle between the center and peripheries. He identified the migration from 
the South (Arab and Muslim countries) to the North (Europe and America) and the 
“clash” between the competing cultural identities as major issues threatening 
the world. The immigration from the peripheries poses a serious threat to the 
security of the center, threatening its cultural identity, apart from forming 
special ranks within it. He also viewed that the clash between identities and 
cultures is “quite apparent between the West and Islam,” because of the 
contradiction between secular values prevailing in the West and Islamic values 
and also because of the historical competition between Christianity and Islam. 
He also attributed the clash between the West and Muslims to Muslim’s envy at 
the West’s power in addition to geographical reasons. 

“The combined hazards of the immigration and the risks of the clash of 
civilizations provide an insight into the magnitude of the social cold war 
between the center and the edges, particularly between the West and Islam,” the 
writer noted. 

Such books and studies have, undoubtedly, prepared the ground for the spread of 
anti-Muslim ideological and cultural concepts. Rulers, policy-makers and 
generals in the West are also, mostly, influenced by such ideas while defining 
Western relations with the Arab and Muslim world. 

Samuel Huntington was not the first to advance the theory of the clash between 
Muslim and Western civilizations. Konselman’s book appeared in 1980 and Pierre 
Puzin’s article in 1991. Both of them served as bases for Huntington’s theory, 
which is more provocative and aggressive. 
Source: arabnews 

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