A Clash of Civilizations?
This course draws its title from one of the more provocative theses of the later 20th century, expressed by Samuel Huntington in his book A Clash of Civilizations, suggesting that Western civilization and the worldview of Islam are on a collision course that could influence the fundamental character of the 21st century. The course will confront various questions, such as: Is the West in an irreversible spiritual, intellectual, and physical decline? what is the historical meaning and influence of the Islamic concept of Jihad? Is Europe headed toward a demographic disaster that will eventually result in the Islamization of countries like France, Germany, Holland, and England? What would be the result, for Western culture, of such an event? Students will consider the perspectives on these matters as expressed in the writings of a number of authors, including Karen Armstrong, Bat Ye146or, Walid Phares, Irshad Manji, Sayyed Qutb, Robert Spencer, Bernard Lewis, Ibn Warraq, and Oriana Fallaci. The historic intellectual origins of today146s Islamist movement will be considered, along with controversies surrounding 147multiculturalist148 and 147diversity148 ideologies.