"Today, twenty years after the publication, it is time to recognise that the "Clash" thesis was simply wrong," writes Nicolas Richter Though many people regarded his thesis as rather abstruse, the essay soon came to be regarded as a classic.
Or is it just another form of the age old xenophobia and distrust only too familiar to illegal Latino immigrants in the US?
Does the fact that Turkey has – rightly – remained an EU candidate not in itself refute the notion of a clash?
The role of religion Huntington's prediction was true insofar as it foresaw that religion would remain a source of distrust, hatred and violence.
Many Europeans still feel that Turkey is too 'different' to belong to the EU.
A clash of civilisations, or just another form of xenophobia?
Rather than acknowledge this, however, irresponsible politicians in Europe have been all too ready to act as if they were preparing to defend the West against a Muslim invasion, all the while issuing dark mutterings about "Eurabia" and the supposed threat posed by headscarves and minarets.They divide Sunnis from Shiites, the secular from the religious, the military from the civilian, the rebel from the democrat, and the bureaucrats from the Facebook revolutionaries.This is as true for the Middle East or Pakistan as it is for the Parisian suburbs.It is obvious today that the world is in an even bigger mess than Huntington could ever have realised.A commentary from Nicolas Richter published an article entitled "The Clash of Civilisations? In the article American scholar Samuel Huntington ventured a prognosis: neither economy nor ideology were the factors that would divide mankind and bring future conflict, but rather civilization.Huntington's thesis was often abused in this context and cited as the academic evidence for Muslim hostility.Does any of this amount to a clash of civilisations?He sees the world as divided up into power blocs: the West (Europe, USA) the Islamic world, the Confucian, Latin American, and so on.It is strange that, according to this system, Latin America does not belong to the West and that Sunnite and Shiite Muslims do not make up a single unit.Huntington's thesis seemed likely to be vindicated in 2001.Al Qaeda terrorists have never been the representatives of traditional Islam, however, but rather the rootless adherents of an Islamic tinged Western nihilism.