Terrorism and Culture of the Middle East
In 1993, a Harvard political scientist named Samuel P. Huntington wrote a controversial article entitled “The Clash of Civilizations” in Foreign Affairs. At this point the Gulf War was still fresh in the minds of most Americans. The most poignant issues at the time were the threat of Suddam Hussein, nuclear weapons, and the establishment of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Also months later, the World Trade Center was bombed, which left six people dead and many more injured. These events were perhaps the beginning of Huntington’s hypothesis: “the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and different groups of civilizations.”
Eleven years later, recent events have lead many to believe that Huntington’s prediction was correct. In a world where many global issues stem from opposing nations and/or cultures, Huntington’s hypothesis proves to be relevant. Based on the increased and more severe activity taken by non-western civilizations to preserve religion and customs in a world that is increasingly influenced by Western philosophy, cultural differences among civilizations has presented itself at the forefront of international relations today.
Faith and religion go hand in hand, especially when you begin to examine the teaching of multiple groups. Although these two words have different meanings, they are often mixed up, merge and appear to have one meaning. Faith is defined as a belief in, devotion to, or trust, in someone or something without having proof. Religion on the other hand is taking these beliefs and turning them into attitudes that you live and govern your life by. As you see with the religions of the world today, faith plays a vital part in religion. Without faith, religion would not exist, or have any grounds on which to stand. Religion has been the backbone and driving force of civilizations for many years. With the number of different religious and cultural beliefs that are present in the world it is only natural that cultures conflict and contradict each other. Unfortunately, these cultural clashes are often the underlying bases for international confrontation, more specifically terrorism. This phenomenon of different groups establishing cultural dominance in the world through terrorism has especially been an issue in the Middle East, causing this region in the world to remain in the international spotlight.
“A Clash of Civilizations”
In the United States, the most disturbing example of present-day cultural conflict would be the tragic incidents, which took place on September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001 four coordinated aircraft hijackings crashed into the pentagon and the twin towers. The 19 hijackers responsible for the attacks belonged to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Al-Qaeda, an international terrorist group from Afghanistan led by Osama bin Laden, launched the...