Tune into just about any news broadcast in Canada or the United States today, and one hears the constant echo of Samuel Huntington’s thesis on the clash of civilizations, namely that East and West — or more specifically Islam and the West’s Judeo-Christian values — are incompatible.
In the wake of IS beheadings and the radicalization of Westerners, the media have become saturated with the rhetoric of “stealth jihad,” “Muslim extremists,” and “Islamic insurgents,” caricatures that have convinced some people Islam must be kept in check. It is also why Western politicians continue to ask what should be done about the “Muslim question,” particularly in terms of global security.
The scope of such an inquiry, however, is often limited, mainly because Western leaders avoid any discussion concerning the destabilizing effects of their own policies on Muslim nations. Take, for instance, the 2003 Iraq War, a debacle led by former U.S. president George W. Bush, supported by former British prime minister Tony Blair and championed by Stephen Harper, then Conservative Opposition leader. What is undeniable is trumped-up evidence of weapons of mass destruction, a scheme concocted by American neo-conservatives, set in motion an illegal war that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis…
Stuart Chambers is a professor in the faculties of arts and social sciences at the University of Ottawa, where he teaches a course in media ethics.
No doubt the Iraq 2003 war was destabilizing. On the other hand, that was scarcely the first time the US has intervened abroad. Where are Vietnamese terrorists, still furious over the Vietnam War? The US also interfered in Central and South America. But, for some strange reason, they are not sending terrorists our way.
Do I see a pattern?