Islam's Clash with Modernization

Ten years ago, Samuel Huntington argued that the fault lines of world politics in the post-Cold War era are mainly cultural - a ``clash of civilizations'' defined by five or six major cultural zones that can sometimes co-exist but will never converge, because they lack shared values. One implication of this argument is that the September 11 th terrorist attacks, and the US-led response, should be viewed as part of a larger civilizational struggle between Islam and the West. Another is that what we in the West regard as universal human rights are simply an outgrowth of European culture, inapplicable to those who do not share this particular tradition.