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The Arab spring and the clash of civilizations
Material posted: Publication date: 27-07-2011

After the end of the cold war began to be released of the idea of interfaith, in the end, as inter-civilizational contradictions determine the development of the world situation. At the same time forceful imposition of democracy has become a distinctive feature of American expansion in the middle East.

Widespread conclusion about the clash of various civilizations, primarily Islamic and Western. In today's world are really accumulating a lot of events that could be considered in support of this conclusion. In Islamic colors painted many terrorist organizations. Too slow and controversial process is seemingly natural integration of millions of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa into European society. Erupt periodically bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt. Long term struggle of the people divided along religious-ethnic lines, has already led to partition of Sudan in the Arab-Muslim North and a new state - South Sudan, populated miletskii Negroid tribes, some of whom professes Christianity, and other Gentiles. However, all the events illustrate the development of inter-civilizational contradictions?

Power imposing of democracy has become a distinctive feature of American expansion in the middle East

Perhaps the most significant process in the Muslim world today was the so-called "Arab spring" in early 2011, a revolutionary wave swept over Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Bursts of this wave has reached, and some other Arab countries. But the Arab spring confirms the failure of the theory of clash of civilizations as the main contradiction in the world today.

This theory, the ancestor of which was the American scientist S. Hantington, essentially ignoring the convergence of civilizations, cultures, growing under the influence of globalization. Signs of civilization not in the least formed now in terms of technological breakthrough in an interconnected world. Different civilizations, while still retaining the main features of identity, was involved in the overall flow of changing the basis of life of people, their livelihoods. How does all this impact on the "Arab spring"? No accident that public television has created a system of "Domino" - revolutionary events in Tunisia immediately spread to Egypt and then to other countries. The main driving force behind these events - the youth - have managed to organize themselves for anti performances through the Internet, which is especially clearly manifested in Egypt.

It is very important to note also that the requirements enunciated in the Cairo area, "Al-Tahrir" and in other Arab countries, and cities, had not religious, not hostile other civilizations, and human nature - fair elections, freedom of speech and demonstrations, the rejection of authoritarianism, introducing corruption into every pore of social and economic life. Even in Bahrain, where clashes occurred between representatives of two Islamic areas of the Shiite majority and Sunni minority in power, the events had not taken religious painting: it's all down to the requirements of equality, non-discrimination, the fight against corruption.

Anti forces in the different Arab countries vary from each other. But none of these countries the demonstrators had not led by Islamic extremists, no demands were made of the refusal of the secular nature of the state, implementation of Sharia principles in legal practice and public life. This does not mean that Islamic organizations such as Egypt's influential Muslim brotherhood, has turned into something marginal. They retain their important position, which in one form or another will occur in the future. But already today it is possible to come to two conclusions: first, the transition the Arab world to a new stage of its development - and so considers the majority of observers - does not occur under Islamic banners and not due to inter-civilizational contradictions. Actually, this conclusion can be retrospectively extended to the second half of the twentieth century, when Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya came to power the revolutionary nationalists, which meant the end of the colonial stage. Secondly, the "Arab spring" cannot affect by themselves the Islamic organization, creating a serious boost differentiation, strengthen moderates. The "Muslim brotherhood" in Egypt, the events pushed to the side mainly constitutional and political activity.

All that is said above, in no case does not mean denying that there are contradictions and impact of religious, cultural nature. However, they are not a measure of "insurmountable antagonism" of the two civilizations - Western and Islamic, reflects the crisis of dialogue between them. Undoubtedly, both parties bear the blame for such a crisis. Don't want to measure the degree of guilt or to try to determine who carries out the initial steps and who is responsible for them. But it is clear that the dialogue between the two civilizations are driven into a dead end attempts by force to distribute to the middle East and North Africa the model of democracy that has taken root in the West without taking into account civilizational, traditional, historical elements of the Arab world, mentality of its population.

Power imposing of democracy was not just a distinctive feature of American expansion in the middle East, but also its ideological justification. Especially clearly it manifested itself during the Bush administration, have undertaken military operation in Iraq. Rejected the irrefutable reality of the "arguments" that Iraq supposedly threatens the US, producing nuclear weapons or maintains close ties with "al-Qaeda", who organized a terrorist attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 were immediately replaced. The reason for the military intervention was announced to the need to bring in Saddam Hussein's Iraq democracy.

What actually was introduced to Iraq, has shown 8 years of American occupation. Shia-Sunni relations has resulted in an ongoing bloody clashes. As a result of U.S. military operations and factional, sectarian fighting for 8 years, killed over 1 million Iraqi citizens, about 5 million have left the country. To this day, we hear explosions in the streets of Iraqi cities, claiming dozens of lives. Is Islamization of the state structures - all of the Shiite party, which occupies a leading position in the Baghdad government and the Parliament, of a religious character. Iraq was on the verge of territorial disintegration.

President Obama announced and began to implement the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. However, it is difficult to assume that with the cessation of the occupation of Iraq will be for many years to find stability and peace of mind - these scales reached the abyss into which Iraq has been immersed since 2003.

The coming to power in the U.S. administration of President Obama has affected the approaches of Washington's foreign policy. By the mouth of Secretary of state Clinton of the United States recognized the existence of a multipolar world order. This can not be regarded as a departure from the non-conservative claims of a unipolar world. Greater emphasis than under Bush Jr., is on the use of military force that is not theirs, and allies with the continuing leadership of Washington. There is a US interest in the UN to legalize military action of NATO, which was not the case under previous presidents, or was present to a much lesser extent. U.S. Secretary of state called for contacts with the Egyptian "Muslim brotherhood", which included the state Department's list of terrorist organizations. But can we assume that you already planned the way out of the crisis, which plunged the dialogue among civilizations?

Obviously, to make such a conclusion is at least premature. On our way out of this crisis remain major blockages. One of them is the absence of a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The last meeting of the "Quartet" intermediaries (the USA, Russia, EU, UN), held in Washington, ended in nothing. The main reason for this - the U.S. position that are not willing to show strong activity in the compromise between Israel and the Palestinians. Arriving at the White house, Obama declared position, which many have rightly characterized then as equidistant from the parties in the middle East conflict. Soon this distance was crossed out - Washington has returned to its traditional Pro-Israeli line.

The detente between the West and the Arab, and broader Islamic, world is not going to happen, but eventually will rise as a result of action taken by NATO in Libya. Created a dangerous precedent when a military unit led by Americans, beyond the mandate of the UN Security Council, openly uses military force in support of one of the parties involved in a civil war. And the League of Arab States and the African Union, Russia, and China, and many others, including some members of NATO, opposed a military solution, the search for a political solution, especially when it is clear that half, if not more, of the Libyan population supports the regime in Tripoli. Of course, the bombing in Libya will not bring about a dialogue of civilizations, but it is vital.


Yevgeny Primakov


Tags: Libya , Africa

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