Just reflecting…

…on a week when I could hardly help thinking that maybe Sam Huntington is right after all. And that, almost by definition, is a pretty bad week.

Update: See the more optimistic assessment propagated by Miguel, with which I tend to agree. Alas, the “reformation” process he refers to is likely to be quite difficult, to say the least.

I also should note that I am about out of that lingonberry spread. It is really good. I need to get some more. And, yes, it is from Denmark.

0 thoughts on “Just reflecting…

  1. I think some in the Muslim world (like al Qaeda) do sincerely wish to prove Huntington’s thesis to be correct. (I’m sure some on our side of the “civilization devide” would as well.) Though I think one can accept Huntington’s general thesis, w/o having to accept his proposed solutions/predictions. No?

    Personally, I find the cartoon thing contrived. Why did protests over other depictions of Muhammad happen immediately after (the Newsweek Koran story, the Time illustration of Muhammad along w/ other religious figures), but this took months to gear up? I wonder if certain religious/political leaders are grasping at straws to keep their subjects’ anger focused outward (away from Syrian, Egyptian, Saudi, etc failed dictatorships). That’s my impression. And I’m also heartened to see many moderate Muslims (who I’m sure make up the majority of the demographic) starting to stand up against the radicalists.

    I firmly believe that people are generally similar. That the values of “the West” are essentially universal values. And that people in the MidEast also expect these things (e.g. the peaceful Lebanese “cedar revolution” of a few months ago). I think we have not so much a “clash of civilizations” as a sort of “Muslim Reformation” beginning to gear up. (This latter theory comes from my Egyptian/Muslim colleague who argued that, unlike Christianity, the Islamic world had yet to undergo a “Reformation”, that this was on its way as more Muslims began to accept “modern/liberal” positions, and that such a movement would bring chaos to the region, much as the Reformation period did to Europe in the 1500s.)

    Just my thoughts.

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