Debunking the Clash Myth

Ethan Heitner writes, on the excellent TomPaine.com site, a good article about two events that will put the the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ tripe out of service once and for all. But first, what exactly is the Clash of Civilisations myth?

Samuel Huntington’s nonsense 1996 hit, The Clash of Civilizations, holds as its basic premise that the Muslim world as a monolithic whole is historically, genetically incapable of peace and that it is intrinsically opposed to a monolithic “Western world.” The two are destined to fight and one must, in the end, win—us or them. Fortunately a healthy dose of debunking arrived this week.

The “clash of civilizations” is not just a myth, it is a dangerous myth that demands that the United States and Israel use military force to humiliate and conquer Muslim countries to keep them from turning Europe into “Eurabia.” It buys into the apocalyptic dualism of Osama bin Laden and reinforces it—after all, when the West says that Islam is the root of all conflict and must be neutered and brought under Western control, that provides damn good justification for a Muslim to take up arms against the West.

And the two events Heitner mentions are the launch of Al Jazeera English:

[It] is highly important that Americans watch Al Jazeera. It represents for the first ti