Samuel P. Huntington thesis has been in center of debates for many years. Moreover, his prediction that main conflicts in near future is between the West (the United States and allies) versus Islamic Civilization has triggered controversy among International Relations scholars. This paper tries to analyze three main supportive arguments from Huntington thesis in the West v. Islam conflict.
Democracy System v. Islamic Laws
Samuel P. Huntington stated that Muslims unable to accept democracy because of the nature of Islamic law and this situation potentially lead to the virulent clash between the West and Islamic countries. He argued that Islam is the exclusive religion which is not flexible to adopt another political idea. This situation is occurred due to Islam basic system which integrates religion principle to political system. For Muslims, Islam is not only a religion. Koran has a set of rules to guide Muslims in forming a good government. Most of Muslims believe that Koran is the righteous guide because it imposed by God (Allah) himself. In contrary, the democratic system was formed by human and therefore makes democracy less trustable than Koran. However, in the Western perspective, democracy values like human rights, freedom of speech and the separation of religion and country able to support the West future vision; global peace. Thus, spreading democracy is an important agenda for the West. Islamic countries in the Middle East, which is affected by this policy, response this policy as a threat for their traditional belief and counter it by containing the Western influence by all means necessary.
Even though it is impossible for Muslim to separate religion principles and national laws, Samuel P. Huntington’s prediction that Muslims will not accommodate democratic values is still debatable (Abu Bakar, 2013). Several Islamic values have similarity with democratic values. For example, Muhammad introduces Syura and Ijma as procedures to solve problems in community. Syura means discussion among people in the community and Ijma means mutual agreement. Thus, the freedom of speech in Islamic system is respected even though not in the same level of freedom of the Western Democratic system. For comparison, the West accepts blasphemy as one of the manifestation of freedom of speech while Muslim rejects it.
Democracy is the system with multi-interpretations. How the U.S. interprets democracy will be different from the rest of the world interpretation. The basic idea of democracy is government which is ruled by the people. Yet, the implementation of democracy is different in each country; it depends on historical and cultural factors in the country. Pakistan, Egypt and Indonesia are Muslim dominated countries that prove their ability to maintain democratic system sustainably. Based on this fact, it is my hypothesis that Islam country fit with democratic system as long their Islamic values still be respected by the West. In the future, the intensive...