Conflict Between Christian West and Islamic East Is Myth

Muslims declare Jihad, Christians respond with a crusade

A lot of things have been said and written about the contradiction between the North and the South. Extensive research works have been devoted to this issue in the West. The issue was originally about overcoming the contradiction between the so-called "golden billion" and the countries, which used to be called Third World states (such countries as India and China are referred to this category as well, despite their dynamic development). Now the subject has changed a bit: people talk about the opposition between the Christian and the Islamic worlds. The point of such discussion can be summarized as follows: Muslims declare Jihad, Christians respond with a crusade. This looks like the medieval style indeed.

This way or other, but the issue is still rather actual, taking into consideration the current political situation in the world. It is obvious that one may not talk about the threat of the Western civilization to the Islamic world.  The notion of the Islamic world is extremely abstract and indefinite. Furthermore, this world has a lot of contradictions of its own too. There are rather wealthy countries among Islamic states, which have become rich with the help of their oil sales. It goes without saying that neighboring countries envy their well-being. The living standard in Saudi Arabia, for example, and in Egypt can not be compared. It deems that this is the major contradiction that stops the countries of the Middle East and North Africa from acting jointly  on the international problems, which touch upon their interests. In other words, they are drawn to declaring their unity, but when it comes to real actions, they give this unity up immediately. Recent events in Iraq can be a very good example to prove it, and there are no doubts that such things will repeat in the future too.

Another important aspect to mention - the historical opposition between various branches on Islam. As it is well known, the majority of Muslim countries practice the Sunnite Islam. Every leader of almost every Muslim country would like to be the leader of the whole Islamic world. However, the Shiite Iran has the same ambition too. It deems that Iran's advantage is obvious, when it comes to the opposition to the West on the whole and to the USA in particular. Iranian ayatollahs have an extensive experience in the struggle with the "pernicious influence" of America. Iran has not succeeded to be the country, which would express the interest of the entire Islamic world. Sunnites will never agree to acknowledge Shiites' leadership.

The most paradoxical thing about it is the fact that wealthy countries of the Arabian world have become the breeding ground of the international terrorism. The wanted list of terrorists hardly ever includes someone from Algeria, Morocco or Egypt. However, there are a lot of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or United Arab Emirates nationals there. This means that the poverty of a lot of Islamic countries does not imply that these states are capable of entailing the aggressive fundamentalism ideology. However, this problem is extremely important too for it helps terrorist groups to hire gunmen.

In general, the issue about the opposition between the Christian West and the Islamic East is good for terrorist groups' leaders. Politicians' talks about the need to prevent from the development of the religious extremism can be easily interpreted as a threat to Islam. However, Islam does not pose any threat to the West. Extremist organizations that use Islamic slogans represent the real danger, but it can be compared to the danger of ultra-leftist groups, which conducted their activities in Europe in the 1970s. The conflict between the Christian West and the Islamic East is a myth, a rather convenient myth from the political point of view.

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Author`s name Olga Savka