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Addressing Samuel Huntington, is it really a clash of civilizations?

digitally edited from a photo I took of Huntington in 2002

In 2002 I attended a discussion session with Huntington in NYC during the WEF meeting about bridging civilizations. On a distinct note, Samuel Huntington, said that there are indeed real differences in values and cultures among civilizations. The idea of a bridge, as suggested in the title of the session, implies there is something separating them. The issue is whether this is a “bridge over a chasm, a wide ocean, a changing stream or what?” He is not sure of the answer, but he is certain that differences exist, although they need not lead to clashes among civilizations. Another interesting issue, he noted, is the role of modernization in cultural exchange. In response to criticisms that his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Reality of World Order, dwelled on the clashes between Islamic and Western values and ignored the conflicts between Christian groups such as those in Northern Ireland, Huntington claimed that the clashes between Protestants and Catholics do not carry the same potential threat to world peace.

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Humanity is still in an adolescent phase

In spite of all the modern technologies that are making the world into a global village, and although humanity has greatly suffered from conflicts and wars throughout its history, so-called globalization has thus far failed to significantly encourage understanding and tolerance among the world’s different cultures and civilizations.  Does the monochromatic economic approach of globalization … Read more

to the WEF, Ignore the world’s poor at your own risk

Demos against the World Economic Forum in New York 2002

As attendees at the World Economic Forum (WEF) rolled out of New York in a stream of black limousines, they carried a warning from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan: “Ignore the world’s poor at your own risk.” It was a message that reverberated constantly throughout the five-day event, from conference rooms at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel to demonstrations on Manhattan’s streets.

The WEF is usually faced with demonstrations against it wherever it takes place. Being one of the world’s significant symbols of economic globalization, the WEF has been always a target of condemnation from angry street public to organized anti-WEF international conferences such as the World Social Forum that is taking place in Brazil at the same time of the WEF meeting.

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مفهوم الدولة بين الشريعة الإسلامية والعلمانية

هل العلمانية مفهوم مضاد للشريعة الإسلامية؟ سؤال طرح للنقاش ضمن فعاليات مؤتمر الكنيسة الإنجيلية بهانوفر يوم الخميس 26 مايو/أيار الماضي. نقاط مثيرة ناقشها الحاضرون تركزت على موقف الإسلام والمسيحية من فصل الدين عن الدولة. يُعد موقف الإسلام من الدولة العلمانية بمعناها المتعارف عليه ـ فصل الدين عن الدولة ـ من أكثر المواضيع نقاشا وبحثا في … Read more

The difference between Sharon and Arab rulers

Democracy, terrorism, and national security are concepts whose definitions span a wide spectrum and are frequently contradictory. an Arab professor has raised some necessary questions about their use in the Middle East.

“Sharon is a Terrorist – And You?” That is the provocative title of an article recently penned by Kuwaiti University professor Ahmad El Baghdadi.  It first appeared in the Kuwaiti paper Al Anbaa and was later picked up by the Egyptian weekly Akhbar Al Yom. The article indirectly criticized Arab leaders and directly attacked the Arab press for focusing on Israel’s actions but disregarding what Arab rulers do to their own people.

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