Islam has traditionally been depicted as violent, different, inferior and an enemy to the West. Through history Islam has fought for equality. Tension between the West and Islam arises from significant differences in political relations, and cultural and spiritual differences. More specifically economic disparity, inequality, modernism ( and opposition to it ) , and the word picture of Western high quality and Islam ‘s lower status underlie these huge differences. Said ‘s ‘Orientalism ‘ ( 1978 ) , Barber ‘s ‘Jihad V McWorld ‘ ( 2001 ) , Huntington ‘s ‘Clash of Civilisations ‘ ( 1996 ) , Hall ‘s ‘West and the Rest ‘ ( 1992 ) , and Malik ‘s ‘Cultural Wars ‘ ( 1996 ) focal point on where differences between the two civilizations lie, and how they have manifested.
This epoch is particularly interesting because it is a clip where struggle between the two civilizations is most volatile. The West is at peak power due to imperialism, modernization, globalization and colonialisation, which has resulted in the rise in the figure of fundamentalist groups in the East because it ( Islam ) is contending more than of all time to keep its civilization, traditions and individuality in the aftermath of an progressively modern and secular universe. The station Cold War period had a revealing consequence on how Islam sought for equality and the right for spiritual, political, and societal freedom in an effort to keep and protect its individuality.
The ways in which both are portrayed and later perceived mostly affect how society sees the West and Islam. That being said, the deceit, a deficiency of understanding and cognition, prejudice, and stereotyping has contributed to the perceptual experience of Islam ‘s difference. Recent events such as the Afghanistan War, the September 11 onslaughts, and terrorist activity seem to reenforce the negative stereotypes that the Western World holds of Islam.
It is of import to analyze the functions in which the East have played in the formation of West ‘s individuality and merely as of import, the function the West had in organizing the East ‘s individuality. It is indispensable to set up how ‘different ‘ these two civilizations are, and how the East ‘helped ‘ the West signifier it ‘s superior, globalistic individuality, and the footing upon which the West formed the East ‘s inferior, ‘violent ‘ individuality.
Edward Said ‘s construct of ‘Orientalism ‘ theorises that the ‘Occident ‘ ( West ) imperialistically and ethnocentrically specify their individuality, every bit good as that of the ‘Orient ‘ ( East ) . Said ‘s general definition of ‘Orientalism ‘ is: “ A manner of idea based upon an ontological and epistemic differentiation made between the Orient and the West ” ( Moosavinia, 2003 ) .
Both Hall ( 1992 ) and Said ( 1978 ) argue that the West established and promoted its domination and high quality by picturing the East as inferior, massive, and inactive. Bloom believes that the West assigns this sense of lower status to others as a agency of comparing between itself and others to see how they measure up. This line of idea is reinforced by Hall ( 1992 ) , who refers to the relationship between the West and the East as a ‘discourse ‘ because it allows for comparing, categorization, and rating. Furthermore, Hall believes that the criterion of which the West measured differences was chiefly based on promotions, be it culturally, politically, socially, or technologically.
The impression of Orientalism was proposed at a clip of European laterality in the universe, and as Hall touches on, geographic expedition resulted in contact, conquerings, the constitution of colonies and colonialisation.
These expeditions led to constitution of lasting contact between the West and the East and bit by bit Western ways, thoughts, and doctrines flowed onto the East. As a consequence imperialism arose, and along with this came machinery, trade, and money but at the disbursal of colliding values, political orientations, and spiritual beliefs. Imperialism has led to the re-establishment of the Eastern universe, whereby the West is working them for resources.
Although Foucault ne’er studied or spoke straight about Orientalism, his apprehension of cognition and power ( cognition is a tool for power ) helped understand how the West formed stereotypes about the Orient through their perceived cognition of it ; a construct known as ‘discursive formations ‘ .
Said ‘s Orientalism demonstrates Hall ‘s thought that “ the construct of difference is reflected in racial lower status and cultural high quality ” ( p. ) Differences prevarication in, basically, what the West makes of it. The differences between the two civilizations have been built upon ethnocentrism and imperialistic power which has led to the thought that the West is superior and the East is inferior. This sense of high quality and lower status is reinforced by the impression of a ‘Bifurcated World ‘ , which suggests that neo-colonialism has allowed the West to believe they know what is best for others, whereby they intervene and do it for them. As a consequence the West is able to indirectly ( without holding to busy the state ) apply power and influence the Eastern World.
Oriental studies still exists, particularly after the September 11 bombardments. Islam is being interpreted as overzealous, violent, aggressive, ‘other ‘ universe that needs to be controlled. It is the discourse of Orientalism ( us versus them, West V Rest outlooks ) and negative stereotyping that many people lead many people to believe that all Muslims are the same. Western society tends to ‘homogenise ‘ other civilizations, particularly Islam, which can be mostly attributed to what is portrayed through the media.
It is common idea that cultural differences underlie differences between the West and the East ( Islam ) . Barber ‘s ‘Jihad V McWorld ‘ , Huntington ‘s ‘Clash of Civilisations ‘ , and Malik ‘s ‘Cultural Wars ‘ believe that struggle arises from cultural differences ; and that West laterality and imperialism has led to resistance and the rise of fundamentalism in the East.
Barber ‘s ‘Jihad V McWorld ‘ provides an account for the difference between the two wholly different universes that is the West and the East. Barber believed that globalization and retribalisation are impacting the really being of democracy in the state province. McWorld operates to advance economic growing and production, whilst Jihad opposes and resists modernism, globalization and imperialism. This has resulted in, basically, civilization 5 civilization ( West v Islam ) . Jihad ‘s individuality is maintained through resistance to these modern tendencies, and McWorld ‘s through trade, investing, engineering and capitalist economy. Barber sums up the relationship between the two nicely: “ Jihad pursues the bloody political relations of individuality, McWorld a exsanguine economic sciences of net income ” ( Barber, 2001, p. 8 ) .
Malik believes that cultural differences are the cause of struggle between the West and Islam. ‘Cultural Wars ‘ discusses civilization, individuality, the lower class, the impression of a ‘Bifurcated World ‘ . Underliing these are the constructs of pluralism ( basically the credence and tolerance of cultural diverseness ) , race, multiculturalism, and immigrants.
Pluralism was used as a agency to show concern for national individuality. British conservative Enoch Powell set out to reply the inquiry ‘Who are we? ‘ Powell believed that every state is alone and deserved the right to its traditions, history and civilization. He ( Powell ) blamed pluralism for national diminution, i.e. believed that immigrants and multiculturalism were to fault for the harm and subsequent ‘loss ‘ of Britain ‘s national individuality.
Powell believed citizenship was sole, i.e. to be ‘British ‘ you had to born in Britain ; “ It is something you are born into, non something you get ” ( Malik, 1996, p. 186 ) . As a consequence immigrants were seen as a agency of comparing ( racial discourse ) , the antonym of what it meant to be British. Like most of the Western World, Britain is now contrasted to Islam.
France besides believed that citizenship was sole, and like Britain started to oppugn citizenship, and what it meant to be Gallic. Malik ‘s statement that struggle between France and Islam is “ deep rooted in history ” ( Malik, 1996, p. 194 ) seems to be justified ; for illustration the Algerian Civil War. This war occurred between France and Algerian Muslims because of concern that they ( Algerian Muslims ) were n’t following, or absorbing to Gallic values.
A deficiency of cognition, stereotypes, and possibly the impact of this war has led to the perceived disfavor, racism, and favoritism against ( Gallic ) Muslims today. More significantly though, what is portrayed through the media ( the word picture of Islam ) heightens and reinforces fear and insecurities that already exist amongst Western society.
Today France is seen as continuing a secular individuality. For illustration, in 2004 the Gallic Senate decided to censor the erosion or show of any open spiritual symbol in State Public ( Primary & A ; Secondary ) schools and most late, the forbiddance of the Burqa and Niqab in public. France argues that the determination to censor the Burqa is because it oppresses Islamic adult females, whilst Muslims argue that it is their ( spiritual ) right to have on it and it is racist.
Is France ‘s determination to censor spiritual ‘paraphernalia ‘ an effort to uphold secularism, or is it something more sinister? Whilst one could reason that France is historically secular, the statement that Muslim ‘s brand is every bit as justified. Moslem people have every right to oppugn these prohibitions as it does, in kernel, appear racialist and contradictory. For illustration, France still celebrates faith specific vacations such as Christmas and Easter ( Western/Christian holidays ) .
Like Malik, Huntington believed that cultural differences are the beginning of struggle between the West and Islam. Huntington ‘s ‘Clash of Civilisations ‘ proposes that the ‘next form of struggle ‘ will happen between civilizations on the footing of civilization, non political orientations or money. He believes that civilizations will collide because of differences ( different cultural beliefs ) , the universe is going ‘smaller ‘ ( more and more non-Western civilizations are defying modernization ) , and societal alteration is ensuing in the separation of individuality. Furthermore the West is at peak power, where no state can dispute them economically ( except Japan ) , politically, or militarily.
Huntington ( 1996, p. 6 ) believes that the West run the universe in a manner that best suits and benefits them: “ keep its military predomination and to progress its economic involvements ” . This stance has evoked assorted reactions amongst different states. Some have cut off all ties wholly with the Western universe in an effort to run their state and prosecute what is best for it. Others are band-wagoning ( conforming to Western ways, thoughts, and beliefs etc. ) or ‘balancing ‘ ; organizing confederations with other non-Western states ( militarily and economically ) whilst continuing their ain beliefs, traditions, faith, civilization and individuality.
Huntington splits the universe into several civilizations: “ Western, Confucian, Nipponese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin-american and perchance an African civilization ” ( p.3 ) . Huntington notes that Western struggle with Islam is far greater than any other civilization, utilizing illustrations to lucubrate on his theory.
For illustration, struggle between the West ( specifically the USA ) and Orthodox & A ; Latin-american civilizations is minimum because they are now willing to co-operate with the West. Whether it is because they merely can non vie or because of the benefits the West has to offer. This can be seen by the inclusion of Mexico into the North American Free Trade Area ( NAFTA ) , and the inclusion of Eastern European ( Orthodox ) states into NATO.
India has seen a rise in patriotism, which Huntington refers to as “ Hinduization ” ( p. 4 ) ; but still remain democratic. Interactions between the West and India are on good footings, and likewise, interactions with Islam are hostile. India ‘s negative interactions with Islam arise from clangs with Pakistan ( who by bulk are Muslim ) .
Huntington acknowledges that the most marked struggle of our clip is between Western and Muslim civilizations ( Quote? ) . In fact, there is no uncertainty that the relationship between the West and Islam is historical. Harmonizing to Huntington struggle between the two civilizations day of the months at around about 1300 old ages ; the Crusade Era. The Crusade Era was marked by switching power, and confrontation of two civilizations ( West and East ) seeking to asseverate their faith. It was at this clip, harmonizing to historian Tomaz Mastnak that “ Muslim became the enemy ” ( As cited in, Mamdani, 2004, p. 25 ) .
Since the Crusades there has been a figure of clangs ; the Cold War, assorted Civil wars, the Afghanistan War, and the September 11 bombardments. All of these are of import because they show how cultural, spiritual, and political differences has led to a bigger divide between the two civilizations, and later, how individuality was affected and/or formed as a consequence of these events.
The Cold War was characterised by the struggle between the Western World and the Soviet Union. This struggle arose by the Soviet Union ‘s determination to revolt against the West because of their ‘dominance ‘ and cultural differences. This determination encouraged and resulted in societal atomization ( Huntington, 1996 ; Malik, 1996 ; Barber, 2001 ) . Atomization is defined as… …
Islam ( and many other non-Western civilizations ) followed the Soviet Union ‘s determination in the hunt for equality and the right to political, societal, and spiritual freedom. The thought that Islam ‘s individuality is partially defined by opposition to modernism, globalism.etc, is reinforced by Castell, who states that “ averment of individuality plays a cardinal function in these opposition procedures ” ( as cited in Herbert, 2004, p. 162 ) . Resistance and resistance to modernism, globalization, secularization and imperialism resulted in the rise of Islamic fundamentalism ( Mamdani, 2004 ) .
Fundamentalism is “ a certain manner of looking at world… in certain spiritual communities… persons and… societal motions ” ( Charon, 2007, p. 278 ) . Both Charon ( 2007 ) and Ghadbian ( 2002 ) believe that fundamentalism entreaties to people who disapprove of modernization and those sing “ atrocious societal conditions ” ( Charon, p. 278 ) , i.e. hapless socio-economic position, unemployment, poorness etc. Fundamentalists by and large interpret spiritual Bibles and instructions as being free of mistake, and the actual truth.
Fundamentalist groups, as Charon touches on provides a group specific individuality, protection from enemies/’infidels ‘ ( most normally the Western universe ) , and boundaries which distinguish members from enemies. Therefore, these groups provide Islam with a manner to pattern and keep their individuality, whilst supporting itself from the West.
The rise in fundamentalist groups in the East ( Islam ) may be attributed to cardinal factors such as poorness, subjugation, repressing of traditions and spiritual beliefs. Islam ( particularly post September 11 ) have been portrayed through the media as self-destructive fiends who commit such flagitious offenses in the name of their God. This is merely non true. In fact many Westerner ‘s would likely be incognizant that the Quran opposes any signifier of attack/war on society: “ The terrorist ‘s Acts of the Apostless, from the position of Islamic jurisprudence, constitute the offense of hirabah ( engaging war against society ) ” ( Muslims against Terrorism, 2007 ) .
Ghadbian ( 2002 ) discusses the nexus between Islam and force, and believes that political relations is related to force. Ghadbian uses the illustration of the USA seeking to happen replies for Saddam Hussein ‘s invasion of Kuwait in the Qur’an to demo how the West assumes that Islam ( spiritual instructions ; Qur’an ) is related to the usage of force. The fact that the USA thought answers/justifications of Hussein ‘s actions could be found in the Qur’an emphasises the deficiency of cognition of Islam, culturally and sacredly, amongst the Western universe.
If the East were responsible for assisting the West signifier its individuality ( by agencies of comparing ) so the West formed Eastern individuality through its resistance to globalization and modernism, which resulted in fundamentalism. Fundamentalism basically resulted in the belief that Islam ‘s individuality is characterised by force.
It is of import to set up how the perceptual experience that Islam ‘s individuality is linked with force has arisen. “ The dominant position in the West assumes an affinity between Islamic values and the usage of force in the Muslim universe ” ( Ghadbian, 2002, p. 91 ) . This statement by Ghadbian amounts up precisely what is portrayed in modern Western media, and the stereotype of all Muslims/Islam that is held in the West.
So what events have influenced the thought that Islam is associated with force? The war that occurred between the Soviet Union and assorted Afghan cabals resulted from economic and military encouragement by the US to pay war against the Soviet Union. This is because they ( US ) wanted to see Russia “ lose their bridgehead in Afghanistan ” ( Ghadbian, 2002, p. 100 ) . Both Ghadbian & A ; Mamdani believe that the Afghanistan War played a portion in non merely the addition of force amongst Islam, but the function in which the West ( USA ) played in organizing the nexus between what we commonly see now, Islam and force.
USA ‘s determination to fund the Afghan War had an inauspicious consequence on the Afghan people and the Western World. Russia ‘s determination to go forth Afghanistan sparked a set of internal struggles ( Mamdani, Asian fellow ) , and the consequence on USA was that “ some of these groups turned against the USA ” ( Ghadbian, 2002, p. 100 ) . At the terminal of the war the USA left because they decided their occupation was done, go forthing Afghanistan war-worn and in desperate passs.
Besides towards the terminal of the war, Afghan Arabs ( led by Osama Bin Laden ) were encouraged to go on engaging war against other civilizations, particularly the USA. This determination was based on Bin Laden ‘s idea that: “ The prostration of the Soviet Union… goes to God and the mujahidin in Afghanistan ” ( Bin Laden, Howarth, & A ; Lawrence, 2005, p. 50 ; March 1997 interview with Peter Arnett ) . Basically, Soviet backdown resulted in the idea that Islam could get the better of any enemy with the usage of force, “ committedness and belief ” ( Ghadbian, 2002, p. 101 ) . This belief is still held by Muslim ‘s today and can be seen by the September 11 onslaughts, every bit good as assorted terrorist activities globally.
However, it is of import to understand that force such as the September 11 onslaughts are non committed and accepted by all of Islam. Thus it is of import to set up the difference between violent ( extremists ) and non-violent ( centrists ) Muslims, which acknowledges that all Muslims are non ‘the same ‘ . Ghadbian contrasts ‘moderate ‘ and ‘extremist ‘ Islam, and believes that political relations and faith underscore the manner in which actions are pursued by these groups. Whilst differences are what set these groups apart, they portion one commonalty ; their actions are justified through their reading and apprehension of the Qur’an. This mostly affects whether the manner they pursue their ends ; through violent agencies or “ gradual and peaceable agencies ” ( Ghadbian, 2002, p. 91 ) .
In decision, both the West and the East complement each other ; they both helped to organize each other ‘s individuality. The East ‘s sensed lower status helped the West construct its superior, modern, secular, and planetary individuality by comparing itself with the East. And by the same item, Western laterality resulted in the rise of fundamentalism in Islam, which in bend, resulted in Islam ‘s violent individuality.
Fundamentalist activity, such as the September 11 bombardments formed the perceptual experience that Islam and violence/terror are synonymous. This activity represents merely the positions of ‘extreme ‘ Islam ; those that are willing to instrumentally utilize force, or any agencies necessary to accomplish their ends. This signifier represents merely the minority. ‘Moderate ‘ Islam, nevertheless, due to racial discourse, are being perceived and homogenised by Western society to transport the same beliefs, therefore all Muslims must be the same.
The West is ( partially ) for force in Islam ; they provided money, arms, and the chance for Islam to be violent. However, Islam is besides responsible for their force. Ultimately the manner that the West ‘runs ‘ the universe has resulted in how Islam are today. Islam ‘s actions, such as 9/11 merely reinforce the negative stereotypes already associated with it.
Western laterality and modern tendencies such as modernism, secularization, imperialism etc merely aid to underscore the yawning difference between the two civilizations. Ultimately differences in civilization, faith, and political relations underlie the construct of individuality, every bit good as the sociology of difference.