On September 11, 2001 the world changed. The attacks on that day signified a shift in US foreign policy and thus a shift in international relations. Although the United States was sending troops to Afghanistan, its military was actually fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda. This started the clash between the West and the Islamic extremists’ world. International relation systems are hardly absolute, however, the clash of civilizations model predominately represents the modern world of international affairs.
Currently, America has strong military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are not at war against these nations. The War on Terror has been made the central conflict of this generation. The “terror” side is essentially constituted by anyone against the West (the US and its allies). This includes the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Iran (which houses many terror-factions), and North Korea. Out of these, North Korea and Iran are the only actual nations. Iran could even be exempt because its government is a Theocracy (Islam) and it houses radical terror sects.
The United States’ War on Terror epitomizes the West-Radical Islam clash; however a lesser known, but just as serious rivalry, exists between India and Pakistan. Both are separate nations, however the societies which constitute the two rivals show the bigger picture: Hindu (India) v. Muslim (Islam). The opposing religions are the true undercurrent of this conflict, and they result in two differently constructed societies. Furthermore, the rivalry is exacerbated by both nations’ pursuit of nuclear power, which would make the region even more unstable than it already is. This is not simply one nation wanting to destroy the other; it is the desire to destroy a religion or society (AKA civilization).
The clash of civilizations can even be applied to regions of Africa, where contrasting ideologies and religions often clash, sometimes violently. In Nigeria violence has flared on and off between Christians and Muslims; this is one example, and similar situations can be seen throughout Africa, primarily in the North. A majority of violent conflicts in Africa stem from ethnic and social quarrels-both aspects of civilization.
These examples are painted in broad strokes. Not all Muslims are extremists who want to bring the world into a chaotic frenzy of war because God told them to. The word Islam actually means peace. Instead, these conflicts spawn from this type of misunderstanding. When...