Review | From 'Clash of Civilizations' To Clash Of Scholarship

Review | From 'Clash of Civilizations' To Clash Of Scholarship
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington has created a clash of scholarship in International Relations.

The most controversial statement of Huntington was the demonisation of Islam by suggesting an association between Islam and violence. Huntington was regarded as prophetic after the incident of 9/11, as this tragedy breathed a new life in his theory. His view of conflict between Islam and West, guided by extremism, added fuel to the fire after 9/11.

But it is time to do away with the racist theory of Clash of Civilizations, as Huntington had also predicted, “If civilization is what counts […] the likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close relationships with each other for centuries.” The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is enough to throw out his entire theory which has traumatized Muslims for decades.

Some proponents of the theory are claiming that Huntington may have been wrong on the Russian aspect, but this theory is 'absolutely correct' regarding Islam, as the religion has bloody borders and is the main culprit of wars. But it is also the fact that without 9/11, the Huntington theory is irrelevant to academia because it has failed to account for the stable alliance between USA and Saudi Arabia, sectarianism or divisions within the civilizations i.e. Sunni Shia conflict or Protestants versus Catholics conflicts. Muslim world leaders have pushed away his idea by introducing new concepts like Alliances of Civilization, and Common World Initiatives.

Despite inspiring many thinkers of Geostrategic studies, the theory has collapsed because of its idea of the irreversibility of the Soviet breakdown, and that the world is now heading for a confrontation of Islam with Christianity, which has been falsified by the role and vision of Putin. There is no denying the fact that Russia has always tried to integrate Muslims into its Empire; now the imperial vision of Putin does not have religion based geostrategy as some members of the Western and European right believed.

Among the four invasions in the former Soviet space by Putin, three military invasions targeted Christian and Orthodox countries. The invasion of the Georgia directly benefited the Muslim Abkhazians, while in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Russia let the Azeris take over the Karabakh against the Armenians, and then pretended to intervene. In the Chechnya war, the Chechen leader was supported by Putin. Chechnya in Russia is the only place in Europe where Sharia laws are applied.

It has become clear that it is not the West versus Islam as explained in Clash of Civilizations but it is the conflict between West and the Rest. Russophobia and Islamophobia are the two major phobias in the Western world. Huntington considered Russophobia to have ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but this concept has reemerged very strongly after the Ukrainian invasion by Russia. The West has failed to isolate Russia because the later has very strong trade and cultural ties with rest of the world. Many Muslim countries have considered Russia as a single alternative to the Anglo-American world where they have suffered a lot through wars, colonization, regime change and on the name of exploration and Islamophobia.

Now the West is considering these two phobias to be on the same side, unlike Huntington. This shows the double standards of the West, because we have seen hardly any march or protest against the deaths of hundreds of Kashmiris, Syrians, Afghanis, Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, and Yemenis. Russia is blaming the United States for disturbing the international security system by abusing its role as global hegemon.

The international community is in need of a new global order, but unfortunately no one knows who should define this new order.