The Clash of Civilizations doesn’t exist … yet

“‘Seriousness’ has become the word of the day for the Islamophobic set. According to some of our more serious hawks, anyone who doesn’t buy that the liberal democracies of the West are engaged in a death-match with hordes of dusky Muslim fanatics is ‘unserious’ about America’s security and can’t be trusted. It’s the latest in a series of attempts to forestall any meaningful discussion of the causes of violent Islamist ideologies, much less how the United States should respond to them. It locks us into the global ‘war on terror’.

“Unfortunately, all too many otherwise sane people seem to accept the terms. But it’s hard to imagine anything more profoundly unserious than taking a dozen complex conflicts that originated in a dozen countries, stripping them of all historical and political context and lumping them together in an amorphous blob called the ‘Clash of Civilizations’. But that’s exactly what we’re talking about.”

Joshua Holland at AlterNet, 1 September 2006