The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat by Roger Scruton
A flood of books and articles has attempted to explain the course of events and ideas that eventually led to the shocking occurrences of 9/11, but few if any commentators have matched the analytical depth and originality displayed by noted English philosopher Roger Scruton in The West and the Rest. In this brief but important study, Scruton argues that to comprehend Islamist terrorism, one must understand what is unique -- and potentially dangerous -- about Western institutions, ideas, and technology. Scruton explains that the different religious and philosophical roots of Western and Islamic societies have resulted in profoundly divergent beliefs about the nature of political order. Globalization has stirred these divergences into an explosive mixture. Migration, modern communications, and the media have brought the formerly remote inhabitants of Islamic nations into constant contact with the images, products, and peoples of secular, liberal democracies. In light of this new reality, writes Scruton, certain Western assumptions -- about about consumption and prosperity, about borders and travel, about free trade and multinational corporations, and about multiculturalism -- need to be revised.