In The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington argued that the borders between Western and Islamic civilizations would one day become the loci of cultural conflict. The statements of Osama Bin-Laden would seem to support this view. "This battle is not between al-Qaeda and the U.S.," he famously said in October of 2001. "This is a battle of Muslims against the Global Crusaders."
These specially commissioned essays critically examine the virtual and actual borders of Islamic civilization. Contributors concentrate on local dynamics and whether they support or contradict an emerging global confrontation between Islam and its Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and secular neighbors. They consider borders that host Muslim majorities (Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Somalia, Pakistan, and Turkey), those that have significant Muslim minorities (Phillipines, Nigeria, and India), and those that reflect new faultlines created by migration to France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Spain or by advances in technology. Essays explore the rise of international Salafi jihadism and whether it can be traced to countries that straddle the Islamic and non-Islamic world. In conclusion, the contributors argue that mechanisms far more complex than those described in Huntington's Clash of Civilizations influence many border regions, suggesting that, while poverty and institutional failure heighten religious awareness and practice, the actual effects of these phenomena are entirely different.
About the Author
Stig Jarle Hansen, a specialist in Islamic philosophy and political Islam in Somalia, is a senior researcher at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Oslo.
Atle Mesoy is a researcher in political Islam.
Tuncay Kardas teaches at Sakarya University in Turkey where he specializes in Turkish security, political theory, and Islam.
What People are Saying About This
This conceptually brilliant book serves as a detailed survey of various 'frontier states' likely to be involved in any future clash of civilizations. It does not dwell on the usual suspects of the Middle East. Instead, it focuses on other states with either large Muslim populations or fragmented religious communities, particularly those suffering from such destabilizing forces as weak economies or significant external penetration.