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Is it Clash of Civilisations Really?

First German and then Italian nationalists called for a "holy war" more than a century before the word Jihad entered common parlance

Wednesday October 14, 2020 1:44 PM, Dr. Syed Khurshid

Clash of Civilizations

"Islam and its religious extremism -- fanaticism is blamed today everywhere for universal crisis. It is a preposterously heavy burden placed on it", writes Pankaj Mishra in his book "Age of Anger: A History of the Present".

He takes a different view and argues that the unprecedented political, economic and social disorder are the result of the rise of the Industrial capitalist economy in the nineteenth century Europe after Enlightenment. This also led to world wars, totalitarian regimes and genocides in the first Half of the 20th century.

This malady of Modernity is now infecting much vaster regions and bigger populations of Asia and Africa after their freedom from European Imperialism. They are going through the same fateful experience of the West. The scope of this universal crisis is much broader than the issue of terrorism and violence.

Those routinely evoking a worldwide clash of civilisations in which Islam is pitted against the West and religion against reason are not able to explain many political, social and environmental ills.

Mishra writes in detail about the flamboyant, secular, radicals of the 19th century and early 20th century, particularly D'Anonzio - the Italian poet and revolutionary, who glorified war, misogyny and pyromania of the nationalists who accused Jews and liberals of rootless cosmopolitanism and celebrated irrational violence.

Mishra compares them with present century ISIS caliphate radicals. Do they not share the same intellectual, quasi religious and psychological affinities?

We must return to convulsions of that period in order to understand our own age of anger. Even the exponent of clash thesis will find their illuminating answer. Who does not know whose child is ISIS?

After wholesale destruction of three flourishing Middle East countries under the mission of a new world order and other false pretext where more than two million people, including women and children, were killed. After such oppression even a lamb will stand up to a tiger.

What clash of civilisations was there in European nations in 19th and early 20th century? We must return to these convulsions of the 19th and early 20th centuries to understand our own age of anger. Paris Stock Exchange bombings and cafes music halls of earlier centuries; Any similarity with ISIS massacre in Paris in Nov 2015?

First German and then Italian nationallsts called for a "holy war" more than a century before the word Jihad entered common parlance. The cry for revolutionary messianism, liberty or death was heard in remote places of Europe. A moral and spiritual vacuum is yet again filled with anarchic expressions of individuality, and mad quests for substitute religions and modes of transcendence.

Dostoevsky's millennial fantasy of Moscow as the third Rome, the search for solidarity and freedom is manifested today by the rebuilding of Hinduism's lost glory in India as well as the fabricators of a Caliphate in the Middle East and North Africa.

The two ways in which humankind can self-destruct --- civil war on a global scale, or destruction of the natural environment --- are rapidly converging.

Today global warming manifest itself, in rising ocean levels, extreme weather conditions, rivers and oceans losing their fish stocks or the desertification of the entire regions of the planet.

It can also be seen at work in violent conflict in Egypt, Libya, Mali, Syria and many other places exposed to food prices rises and drought and declining water resources.

Large scale flight of refugees and migrants from damaged areas war torn in Asia and Africa has already created political turmoil in the heart of Europe.
Civil war on a global scale or destruction of the natural environment, now accelerated by natural disasters like bush fires, floods, earthquakes, and Viral pandemics.

What more does Humanity want as a wake-up call? To know our Creator and follow His orders of Justice and Peace?

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