Topics: Egypt, Islam, Middle East, North Africa, Sudan / Pages: 3 (1283 words) / Published: Oct 21st, 2014
Global politics Is the Arab Spring a clash of civilisations Owen Moelwyn-Hughes You will find this article and accompanying activities useful if you are studying the Edexcel A2 global politics option. A clash of civilisations In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent US invasions and occupation of Afghanistan and then Iraq, it appeared that Samuel Huntingdon the Harvard political scientist had been vindicated in his warnings about the clash of civilisations as the principal conflicts of global politics. The clash was between an increasingly radicalised and aggressive form of Islamic extremism and Western democracy. This narrative proved to be overblown and ultimately the clash of civilisations thesis has been discarded. However, a decade on, the fast-paced events of the Arab Spring have once again revived the question as to whether we are witnessing a clash of civilisations Does the Arab Spring reflect a clash of civilisations On the face of it, the Arab Spring appeared to be heading into clash of civilisations territory as Western-backed dictators fell like nine pins, and the revolts appeared to be pro-Islamic, anti-Western and anti-liberal. Recently, a violent string of protests across the middle east against a US-made film, which was held to denigrate the prophet Mohamed, culminated in a deadly arson attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya. Once again, some commentators have framed these events as a clash of cultures and a pivotal moment in Western and Islamic relations. However, the evidence suggests that the clash of civilisations thesis is exaggerated. So in relation to the Arab Spring, it is more helpful to see it as a clash between people and governments within the Arab world, caused in large part by incompetent governance and an inability to listen to what the people want. Contrary to the clash argument, the Arab Spring is not a clash between Islamic radicalism and the West. Looking closely at the region reveals that

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