Reading “The Future of Islam and the West”

Political philosophy seems to be the favorite topic of discussions among my peers. After my first posting on this WordPress platform, I am encouraged to move further with exploring ideas pertaining to how we should be governed, and by whom.

As I have spent the last ten years exploring the “other face of the coin” on how representative democracy and the role of institutions are perceived in the ex-socialist bloc, my attention is now turned to another part of the world which is still unknown to me, the Middle-east and the Islamic world.

The first few pages already caught my attention by the question posed at the beginning: Does the future of Islam and the West necessarily mean a “#clash of civilizations” or can we find ways for a “peaceful coexistence” between the Islam World and the West?

In the introduction, the author mentions the “#End of History” and the “#Clash of Civilizations”, the evolution of religion and secularism, the reality of the Clash, and which methodology he will use to treat the question.

The table of contents includes 3 main parts which are about the Islamic experience explained in easy-to-understand terms for beginners (like myself) in the first chapter, followed by the history of “Islamic Movement” and its anti-western dimensions, from the origins of the #Islamist phenomenon to the intensification of the dualistic development of Muslim Societies and the cause of such phenomenon. The case studies on Iran and Saudi Arabia shed some light on the different perceptions of Islam. And finally, the conclusions and outlook for the relations between the Islam World and the West.

I got my interest when first reading the “Ghost Wars”, which is about the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (one day before Nine-eleven) by #Steve Coll during one of my travel back to #Singapore, my place of residence for a decade around that same period, so the stories brought some other memories of my activities living among people who came from the region. I do not recall that we, being Asians, are aware of the reality in which we live because reading politics is not so much encouraged in this part of the World.

But staying in the West, namely in Switzerland, where there is still freedom for thoughts – although some of you would challenge me for this statement – allows me to explore more in-depth on political ideas, which leads me to the topic of political philosophy. I enjoy the luxury of expressing myself without fear of being sanctioned for my own personal opinion and also enjoy the inclusiveness polity which allows me to move around freely and exchange with my peer on an equal basis.

The “#Ghost Wars” has led me to read on #Jerusalem, so beautifully described by Simon Sebag Monte in his “Jerusalem, the biography”. Neil Faulkner’s “#Laurence of Arabia’s War” is the next on my reading list, and of course, I cannot forget to mention Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads, a New History of the World”, also beautifully written.

I can’t wait until the next weekend to finish my book…

Till then,

Anita H.


Published by Anita H.

Expert in Intercultural Communication, navigating between 4 cultures and 5 languages which I use daily for work and leisure. Author of blogs on wordpress and blogspot on SBI Training Solutions Projects: vietnamhoc, yourvietnamexpert, yourvietbooks,

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