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Western Christendom and the Islamic World

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    Western Christendom and the Islamic World

    Now the categorizing of the two different parts of the world are not of my creation. I am taking the phrases established by Huntington and would like to discuss the issue here on the forum. Samuel Huntington believes that the Islamic World and Western Christendom are at odds and will remain at odds. This is why the western media was so quick to play down the idea of a Clash of Civilizations.

    I however do believe there is a Clash and there will remain a clash unless certain things are seen in an equal light. I do believe Western Christendom and the Islamic World are at odds, but it is very easily corrected. I will start the basis of my case with the ignorant article published by Time Magazine entitled Islam and the West. For those who have not read the article – it is the cover on the European edition – it depicts the life of Muslims within Western Europe. However it makes some very fundamental and serious mistakes. It starts off by describing now young Muslims visit discos and cafes and bars, yet at the same time practice Islam in a more liberal fashion due to the Democratic system in the Western Europe. They are allowed to do both by the system implemented by Western Europe.

    The Author fails to recognize that Muslims are not restricted to go to discos, cafes or bars. They are restricted from certain acts that take place within these commercial establishments, like drinking alcohol but they are certainly not restricted from sitting in these places. The author does state that the Muslims in France and Germany have established their own bars and discos, where they play Arabic music and do not serve alcohol. There is a separate room for ladies that do not wish to sit with men. However women and men do share a common space in these places. This again according to the author is an example of how the West has affected the up bringing of Muslims in the west. This all factually incorrect.

    The author then goes on to make a statement – which I do not have with me at the moment – that the liberal ideas of women wearing what they wish, going to bars and disco’s, staying with boys is a mixture of western culture influencing and mixing with Islam. When I do find a copy of the article I will post the exact and full statement.

    There is also a perception within the West that what country’s like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are implementing is the true face of Islam. They discount the examples of Malaysia and Indonesia in the past as cases of Islamic nations as they have large minorities and thus have to – in their opinion – implement western concepts and ideals. However neither Malaysia or Indonesia call themselves secular states. They do believe themselves to be Islamic countries.

    In Turkey people are not given freedom of religious rights, especially when it comes to preaching and openly accepting Islam. Yet when minorities are not given religious freedom in Islamic countries, or there are laws, which discriminate against minorities, in the case of the Blasphemy law in Pakistan, these are held as violations of Human rights and need to be rectified as quickly as possible.

    Take Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as examples. Neither allows women to vote for anything, be it parliament or laws. This is a direct violation – from what I can gather – of Islamic laws and concepts. However Pakistan, Iran – a rogue fundamentalists state – Syria – another rogue state - etc allow women to vote. Those who deem that women are persecuted under Islam ignore this. Saudi Arabia forces women to wear a Hijab, in my opinion, the forcing of women to don a Hijab is contrary to the freedom prescribed in Islam. Women have the choice to wear what they want.

    The issue of women’s rights is a major source of misinformation and selective thinking. It is common and maybe prevalent in Pakistan for fathers or brothers to kill or mutilate women if they do not comply with the orders or demands of either. This is morally wrong and a violation of human rights. However in the west this is seen as another example of how Islam is against women. Honor killings are prevalent in all third world societies, including Indian, Chinese and African. However the most media attention is given to the Islamic countries.

    During the days of slavery all the major nations that practiced racism and slavery were Christian nations. However you don’t hear people going around saying that Christians feel that blacks are inferior and that they should be slaves. The same concept applies here. What is practiced is certainly not what is preached.

    Islam provides most of the freedoms available in Western Nations, however they are not implemented. Thus the fault of the people implementing the religion is actually the fault of the religion.

    There is also an underlying sub-conscious statement in the Western mentality. Muslims are seen as outsiders, and it is very hard for a Muslim family to integrate into a community in the west. I do believe I read something on this in yesterday’s International Herald Tribune – it was an editorial I believe. There I was a nice quote by a Muslim woman, which I would like to paraphrase.

    If you treat us differently, we will act differently.
    Muslims are seen as a different set of people who can not understand the values of the West, as they stick to their ancient rituals and customs of their religion.

    This is a vast topic and I have said enough already. I would however like to know what the rest of the posters do think. Is the Islamic world at odds with Western Christendom?

    This thread is being transferred to the 'World Affairs' forum.

    Thank you.