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Do you see a clash of civilizations coming between the Islamic and Western worlds?

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Rather than "coming", I'd say it came already.

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I agree, imarkon: the clash is already on, and I'd further say that its been going on for awhile...

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I'm guessing the question means an all-out war. It'll be a bloody one with no mercy given by one side.

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I think the word is finally getting out that Muslims are not the problem, despite the MSM's great efforts to convince us otherwise.

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If there was no oil in many islamic countries I doubt that there was any talk about "clash of civilizations". Common people worrie more about the price of the gas than about the rights of muslim women and gay or secularism.

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I voted no. Islam in itself is not bad.

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Have you ever seen no clash of civilizations between the Islamic and Western worlds?

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Strange, I thought this question should be asked about 8 years ago, just after 9/11/2001...

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There's a clash between the modern world and the medieval worlds, but not Islamic and Western worlds. Extremist Muslims are just another type of fundamentalist, and not at all a representative of the Islamic world.

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I think the word is finally getting out that Muslims are not the problem, despite the MSM's great efforts to convince us otherwise.

That certainly is a strange thing to write considering that recently in an article about an extremely anti-Muslim British group you commented that they had at least some sort of logic to them.

Personally, I agree with def above that extremist Muslims are just another type of fundamentalist, and not at all a representative of the Islamic world. I hope that more and more moderate Muslims will more vocally speak out against such fundamentalism and make sure the reins of the religion remain firmly in the hands of the moderates.

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There is a more serious clash underway within the Western world on globalization and the rise of inequality. The power of multinational corporations, backed by political and military forces of the major nations promoting globalization -- led by the United States -- is the root cause behind much of the turmoil we see in the world today.

As Fareed Zakaria points out in his book, The Post-American World, the vast majority of the people of the world today, despite the reportings of isolated terrorist acts, are actually enjoying far more peace and less violence between nations than at anytime in recorded history. For peace to be maintained and to expand, there has to be a better way to ensure that prosperity is distributed to a far greater percentage of people than just the elites at the top of the pyramid.

Once greater economic justice and fairness are instituted within the Western nations as values to be practiced, I believe that this will dramatically lower the tensions with the Islamic world. Because while only a tiny fraction of believers in Islam support violence against the West, the percentage of people in countries like Pakistan and Indonesia have extremely unfavorable views of the West and of the United States especially.

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I dont think it is so much distribution of wealth between the 2, I think it is an acceptance of different lifestyles. There is more wealth than ther has been in history too. I think there is a greater threat of buddhists-and the like- and bible followers-including all the different perspectives- clashing.

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nobody at JT ever heard of the Crusades? a clash coming?

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That certainly is a strange thing to write considering that recently in an article about an extremely anti-Muslim British group you commented that they had at least some sort of logic to them.

Only you could come up with that interpretation (i.e., distortion) of my comments on that thread.

extremist Muslims are just another type of fundamentalist, and not at all a representative of the Islamic world.

I agree, just as zionists are just another type of fundamentalist, and not at all a representative of the Judaic world. I would also add that many of the so-called Muslim extremists are not even Muslims, just criminals/terrorists pretending to be Muslims.

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nobody at JT ever heard of the Crusades? a clash coming?

The last one was concluded about 800 years ago. Distorting history and trying to make those events fit some post-modernist narrative about 'imperialism' fooled a few people for a few months after 9-11 but with all the suicide bombings and the sudden jihad syndrome and angry mobs up in arms and rioting because of cartoons or because a British schoolteacher somewhere in Africa names a teddy bear after the so-called prophet I think most sensible people understand that the Muslim world is different from ours. And unfortunately when differences arise they are prone to express themselves violently.

The Muslim world of today would likely have no knowledge of the Crusades if writers and historians from the 19th century European colonial powers hadn't preserved the knowledge of these battles (hardly one-way incursions by the Christian Europeans into Mohammedan lands) and later taught citizens of what became Muslim nations vast amounts of their own history.

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I would say that there is already a clash between the islamic fundamentalists and the rest of the world. It is of their making in their belief that the only real people are those that follow the islamic religion.

Fortunately most Muslims are not that way inclined and are in general a peaceful, law abiding group. And fortunately most of the rest of the world also realise this.

There are nutters in every religion - but thankfully usually in a minority, at least for the larger recognised religions.

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i have done some studies about islam. at one stage, they were really a great civilization. in fact the intellectual foundation of europe is deeply rooted in islamic civilization. islam taught europe what higher learning means. look at the origin of some words which are in fact arabic... algebra, chemistry, algorithm, alcohol, admiral, magazine, atlas, almanac, talcum, cotton,etc etc. so at heart western civilization is rootedin medieval islam which are rooted in ancient middle eastern civization of babylon, phoenicia etc. so if that happen it will be a collective suicide for humanity.

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I would say with the idea of making blasphemy illegal, poised by Islamic nation to protect their religious views, and the fact that you have a group of folks who have and are migrating to western Europe and north America but do now want to assimilate to the culture of their new homes, more tension and more conflict are on the rise.

There is an old Arab saying, "do not let the nose of the camel under your tent flap or else, soon the whole camel will be in your tent." (Forgive the paraphrasing). Why I say this is because the west, despite its failures to live up to all of its ideas is one that has, in recent times, embraced multiculturalism. This has created a situation that the Islamist has exploited and so we have de facto fifth-column activities already in existence in Europe.

The call for Shira law has already been heard in Birmingham England, The Netherlands, and Denmark etc. One has to wonder if the "majority" were to become Islamic in these places how quick it would become illegal to criticize Islam or Mohammad or the abridgement of any number of western laws, such as prohibiting alcohol will occur? Before I am judged too harshly, go look at how many nations in Africa have had such laws imposed once Shira has been enacted. In short I believe the "conflict" will be the awakening of the Europeans/North Americans to this and their movement to ensure western culture is not destroyed from within.

Case in point, one can not, if female, wear what she wants while visiting many Islamic nations. NO non Muslims can even go to Mecca, at all. Many laws restricting or out right banning other types of cultures from freely expressing or enjoying their own cultures do not exist in many Islamic nations, once there your home culture is second to the dominate Islamic culture. One side has its door wide open, culturally speaking, while the other restricts entry and feels

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Why limit the question to the "Western World"? Nasty conflicts involving Islamic terror are ocurring in Thailand, China, Somalia, Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere. In those places the Muslim populations are converts who have subjugated their history and culture to that of the Arabs. The inconvenient truth is that Islam is now the new colonial power.

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Nihonlover at 12:32 AM JST - 23rd November

“I have done some studies about Islam. At one stage, they were really a great civilization.”

“algebra, chemistry, algorithm, alcohol, admiral, magazine, atlas, almanac, talcum, cotton, etc etc”

“Which are in fact Arabic...”

Yes, Arabic. Not Islamic. The introduction of Islam brought an end to Arabic civilisation.

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There seems to be a clash of civilizations within larger groups that is greater than any clash between Islam and the West. We seem to be headed away from civilization in general and toward vigilanteism, at least on Mondays.

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Only you could come up with that interpretation (i.e., distortion) of my comments on that thread.

Ummm... I am not interpreting anything. That is what you wrote.

I agree, just as zionists are just another type of fundamentalist,

Except not all Zionists are 'fundamentalists. The term just means someone that supports Israel's right to exist.

and not at all a representative of the Judaic world.

Ummm...The majority of Jewish people support Israel's right to exist. That certainly is representative of the 'Judaic world'.

I would also add that many of the so-called Muslim extremists are not even Muslims

Nope. I don't believe you, nor do I think you have the right to decide who is Muslim or not. Especially considering that you commented about an article about an extremely anti-Muslim British group and wrote that they had at least some sort of logic to them

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sabiwabi

I would also add that many of the so-called Muslim extremists are not even Muslims, just criminals/terrorists pretending to be Muslims.

Classic! Of course they're probably really Presbytarian...

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i just try to understand why we are so much talking about islam bashing ... what it would help? it will push away people from each other.. a person is a person be him a jew, buddhist, muslim or a christian ... all decent people should do is something which will bring people together ... if someone else blow your brother's house and say you didt it so that you can be caught and ridiculed how would you feel... please listen i have lived sometime in muslim land so i can understand what muslims feel about ... they think such acts are done by some non-muslims powers to blemish their name ... who knows? ... if that is true (and why not?) then perhaps we have to wait many years to find the real history. you know historians say .. that unbiased true history emerges 100 years later by which time equation of power change....

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Is not the clash already here? It has just been getting worse and worse as time goes on.

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Personally I think there is a clash, but that it's more of a temporary thing that has been built up by the mass media to an almost hysteria, much as the spread of Communism was in the post-WWII era. The extreme right wing wackos that see 'terrorists' behind every rock and brand Muslims as some type of plague waiting to kill us in our sleep are, as usual, playing on baseless fear and are nothing more than modern day Joseph McCarthys. Add to that the 'war on terror' which simply amplifies the violent aspect of things and throws it into everyone's living room each night on the news.

If you look at things on a more global level, and avoid the post 9-11 freakout in the U.S., things aren't really so different than they always have been.

I generally don't like a lot of Michael Moore's stuff, but what he shows in 'Bowling for Columbine' and his other films about the media freak out to scare the masses is very true. Today we have the 'evil Muslim extremists', global warming - which according to some will mean our ultimate demise in a decade or so, dooms-day weather, end of the Myan calendar. Is it any different than the 'evil communist hordes', so-called killer bees, Y2K and all of the other freakouts that have panicked people for generations? Just like the current economic crisis. You have people going nuts - and yes it's bad. My parents and grandparents made it through the Great Depression; I don't think we need to run screaming into the streets quite yet.

There will always be clashes when religious fervor meets common sense and freedom of thought. There will likely be more.

As some point out on here, western interference with matters in the region has often been an issue. I would say that once scientists finally figure out a way to power everything that no longer involves the use of oil, we can grant the wish that the 'great satan' will leave their lives forever. The fact that there is very little else to sustain the economy in most of these nations (even Dubai's tourism industry and great building projects seem to be turning to sand) means that they will return to their nomadic ways and be of little threat. Fine for all I should think. although once we're gone - and with it our money - they'll likely accuse us of abandonment and start the whole mess over again.

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There almost always has been a clash between the two. When one goes dark, the other goes enlightened. Muslims saved science and technology during the middle ages, when christian were burning books and herotics. Now it would seem the role is reversed.

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i'll say what i always say when this topic comes up: we have nothing to fear from islam. they hate each other at least as much as they hate us

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I thought the "clash" has always been there. I assume even before I was born.

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The question is not really a fair one is it?

Traditional Christianity and Traditional Islam have and will continue to exist side by side. A visit to Turkey will teach you quickly how this compatibility seems to work just fine as long as neither side is too extreme.

Radical religious ideas have and always will be in conflict with other belief systems. So it is certainly imaginable that the existing fundamentalists on both sides will continue to struggle against each other. And when those groups are enabled with weapons or political power, there will be conflict and a "clash" of these individual factions against the others.

Where we are in true danger for the future is not the extreme examples of the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan or other fundamentalists. The true danger of a future clash rests is the capacity of both the Islamic and Western worlds to simplify the problem into a similar black and white question. If that becomes the case, a clash is inevitable.

But if you look at the full color version of the world, it requires both sides to avoide stereotyping judgements of each other. Islam can and does exist in unison with western cultures in the US, Europe and in some of the Islamic world. Islam is a faith with a wide range of belief systems as are most western religions. Most co-exist without conflict.

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I would say "no" because these cultures have been doing just fine in the same world for hundreds and hundreds of years.

However, in modern times extremist, militant Islam is clashing with not only the Western world, but with the normal Islamic world as well. It's very important to recognize the distinction between extreme militant Islam and normal Islam. Otherwise we will be ignorant and have dumb polls like this.

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There is already a clash going on in Afghanistan,NWFP/FATA,Iraq and anywhere else.

This news ,is not new news.

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hahaha... "do you see a clash coming"?

Forgot about the "Crusades" or 99% of the other wars fought in the history of the world?

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as Suzu1 said, why limit it only to the west? it is the whole world the muslim is rampaging.

by the way, personally i can not see it as a crash of "civilizations" since i don't view any social create entirely base on islam ideology as civilization.

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The rejection the right of non-islamic world to exist is built into islam. As long as islam does not change its tenets (and I do not see that happening), the clash which is already here will continue.

Of course, we have to clarify the terminology. Islamists often stress that they want "peace". However, islamic "peace" is not what we understand as such.

Bassam Tibi points to the confusion: "Both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms, these mean different things to each of them. The word peace, for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or House of Islam -- to the entire world. This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought. Only when the entire world is a Dar al-Islam will it be a Dar a-Salam, or House of Peace." (Bassam Tibi)

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Is Christianity a western thing? I think christianity, islam and judaism are cousin religions born from same source. all are in essence middle eastern... this is a kind of sibling rivalry ... go and read their religious text ... it is AMAZINGLY similar ...

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Coming? It's already here and I'm not talking just about the acts of global terrorism. I am most concerned my Mulim groups striving for things such as the blasphemy ban, again demanding rights that others don't have and don't ask for. You can lump in demands for special meals in office cafeterias, all girls schools and any number of other ways in which muslims try to push their way onto societies they immigrate to.

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Nihonlover,

Christianity may have been born in the Middle East but it was raised in the west. Roman Catholic and the western protestant sects are western in values, ethics and outlook. Some Eastern Right Catholics, Coptic Catholics and other smaller groups have more of an eastern feel to them but, by and far the largest part of the Christian community is very western in approach.

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No. Fighting in a name of religion is plain stupid. There were more in the past, there is less now and there will be none in the future. There are fanatics on both side that makes this look bigger issue than it is, but they are not intelligent people and will not be taken seriously.

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Nihonlover:

" Is Christianity a western thing? I think christianity, islam and judaism are cousin religions born from same source. all are in essence middle eastern... "

Not quite. Christianity is essentially a Jewish reform movement, so the links between these two are obvious. Islam was founded in Arabia by an Arab warrior completely separately from these two. It includes some distorted fragments from Judaism and Christinity, but only uses them as a base to attack them from. The Koran is littered with insults against and condemnations of Jews and Christians.

So it is quite misleading to lump all three together. There are two that are related and another one that is obsessively against the first two.

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Damien:

" There are fanatics on both side "

No, there is no balance here. Scan through your local newspaper and see how many religious motivated bombings, beheadings, burnings, kidnappings, etc. you find committed by Jewish or Christian fanatics. It will be a short search.

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Hi Willi B ... Not quite true man ... i am not a religious person ... just a liitle curious about it ... please don't go by what priests or fathers say or media say... use a little common sense ... why oh why is there such big spur in so called religious war ... because war with communists are over .. now we need a new front ... that's why ... what is arabia? remember both jews and arabs are semitic people originated in babylon or what is today's iraq. please read bible and koran side by side with a desire to learn AND AN OPEN UNBIASED MIND... read yourself and not listen to what other muslim or christain fanatic say and then come to a conclusion... i feel people who think about deeply .. cannot support useless war

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BTW i am a positive christian muslem jew lover ... ... i think this is a temporary phenomena .. perhaps it will go back to normalcy in next three four decades ..

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I am actually quite relieved that we don't have too many Muslims here in Japan yet so I don't see a clash here anytime soon and hope Japan thinks about putting some restrictions on the number of new Muslim immigrants as large numbers of them could potentially affect our society as it has in some European nations. I just don't think Islam is very compatible with Japanese society and work environment.

My experience hiring muslims here in Tokyo were that they asked for too many special favors for e.g. setting up a special prayer room in the office just for them to pray every day and permission to go off to mosque in the middle of the work day every Friday for a few hours, creating eating decisions difficult at a group setting for people due to food not being halal, pork, etc.. looking uncomfortable around the tradional afterwork kampai beers with other coworkers, etc..

I guess the issue is many seem to have a difficult time seperating their religious needs/practices with their work environment and tend to ask their employer to amend to their religious needs compared to practicing their religion on their personal time on the weekend or after normal working hours, etc.

All in all I probably would opt to hire a non-muslim v.s. a muslim if all other qualifications being equal as it seems they were harder to integrate successfully with either the Japanese or multi-national gaijin teams due to their strict adherence to religious practices.

I am sure that is not true of all Muslims but many that I have met and interviewed for positions seemed to ask for special treatment to accomadate their religion as a basis for employment.

Some additional thoughts: I heard in the U.S. some Muslim Walmart employees working at the check-out would refuse to handle/scan pork or alcohol and created some issues. I believe this was just a few handful of cases but was thinking if the nurses from Indonesia/Malaysia that will be coming to Japan to help off-set the lack of nurses here begin to refuse helping old oji-sans and oba-sans to eat their Charsiu ramen as it contains pork or refuse to help them sip sake or something this would create a serious problem for us here as they would not be able to do their job adequately or as expected.

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WillB,

No, there is no balance here.

Ok, how many arab nations has killed 5000 some of their own citizens, just because they could have a reason to kill people from other religions? How many muslim countries has invaded christian nations? How many muslim newspapers published images of their soldiers kicking christian nations citizens? I'm sure the list is even shorter.

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The Koran is littered with insults against and condemnations of Jews and Christians.

Koran says that the only reason that a new religion was sent to humans is, because humans changed the Bible as they see fit. There are several versions of Bible, but only one Koran. Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet of same god, but at the same time says that Islam is the only way to heaven, because Bible was changed and no longer is creation of god.

To me it's all bull crap. I hate religion, just because of the fact that it creates differences between us. But what I hate more is the ones who think their religion is better then others and all others will go to hell. If god has created this conflict, I'm not sure if he really love us, or even exist.

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Damien15,

I realize I am not part of your conversation. However, perhaps you could be specific in the list of questions you have posted in your 3:29pm post? I especially can't understand your 5,000 citizens comment. What are you talking about? Just curious.

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Kinniku,

Looks like I can't talk abotu that but the official number is 2,976.

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Damien15,

Never mind. I didn't realize you were going on about ridiculous 911 conspiracies.

The fact of the matter is that people have to learn to let other people live their lives as they wish and worship as they wish. The problem with any extremist group is their desire to change others to their way of thinking, living and doing things.

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it is a hype ... fanned by some media ...

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Kinniku,

people have to learn to let other people live their lives as they wish and worship

Very True. I believe common person knows how to do that. Fanatics have different agenda though. They want to involve common person with their cause, and so far, they are succeeding. There are more people in both religions, hateful to each other as a result of this.

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and counter theories are not ridicilous. they are the real truth.

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they are the real truth.

They are ridiculous conspiracy theories not based on fact that tend to fan the flames of the very clash that is described in this question. You are certainly not in a position to claim otherwise. Stick to reality. Ridiculous conspiracy theories merely make the person claiming the conspiracy a part of the religious fanatics you spoke of in your post.

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How about exposing some religions fanatics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Prince

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Hey, all you people planning to end the world with your imagined "clash of civilizations": go fight the war yourselves. send your own sons, pay for it privately, no more tax-payer funded armies. have your precious war, leave the rest of us out of it.

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