September 14, 2012
Thoughts on the Clash of Civilizations
I'm often told by liberals that it is dangerous to believe that there is any merit in Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations thesis.
For some odd reason they are under the impression that it is people in the West who have to be warned not to heed Huntington's theory. But what motivates them is not a belief that the theory is wrong, but that the theory is dangerous. They labor under the impression that if people in the West believe what is an allegedly empirical theory of how things are that those people will somehow normatively adopt the theory as the way things ought to be.
A self fulfilling theory, they think, that will only come to pass if people believe in it.
I think after the last few days it has become clear who it is that these do-gooders ought to be spending their time convincing. Here's a hint: it's not residents of Mississippi who are storming the Saudi embassy.
The same do-gooders ought to take their self-righteous message on how Islam is basically the same thing as Tibetan Buddhism to the streets of Cairo and Islamabad. It's not that I don't like such propaganda which is beneficial to our interests, it's just that such propagandists ought to be directed towards the right target audience. That target audience is not in Alabama.
While there is no doubt that Islamophobia -- like racism or homophobia -- is a real but relatively rare thing, the last time I checked the Islamophobes weren't murdering my compatriots. Hell, Islamophobes aren't even murdering Muslims.
So, if there is a clash of civilizations I very much doubt that it will be we, in the West, who will or have started it. It will be a bunch of religious fanatics in the Middle East and Asia. None of whom are Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or other.
I don't mind one bit when Hilary Clinton and President Obama tell us that Islam is a religion of peace and that it is against Islamic principles to murder people over words. So long as their target audience is the Muslim world, not America. It's not America that needs to be convinced of this, it's Muslims.
I am offended by Mrs. Clinton's words today at what should have been a somber occasion. Those assembled did not need to be told that Islam doesn't condone violence. Muslims need to be told this. Not me.
And certainly not at a memorial service dedicated to those murdered by these savages.
It's a lot like lecturing rape victims on why it is that rape is bad. Sure, that's true, but shouldn't those words be reserved for rapists who didn't get the memo?