I was reading this article and I think it offers a reasonable alternative to the politically more viable West vs Islam clash of civilizations. I sort of picked the one paragraph that summed it up pretty nicely for me:
By Ismael Hossein-zadeh
Drake University (Economics)
The rest of the article: http://www.payvand.com/news/03/mar/1059.html#_edn1Despite its turbulence, the painful process of transition to capitalism in the West was largely an internal process; no foreign force or interference could be blamed for the travails of transition. And the pains of transitions were thus gradually and grudgingly accepted as historical inevitabilities. Not so in the case of belatedly developing countries. Here, the pains of change and transition are sometimes perceived not as historical necessities but as products of foreign designs or imperialist schemes. Accordingly, the agony of change is often blamed (especially by the conservative proponents of the status quo) on external forces or powers: colonialism, imperialism, and neo-liberalism.
Actual foreign intervention, realizing and reinforcing such perceptions, has thus had a retarding impact on the process of reform in the Muslim world. For intervention from outside often plays into the hands of the conservative, obscurantist elements who are quite adept at portraying their innate opposition to change as a struggle against foreign domination, thereby reinforcing resistance to reform, especially religious reform. Today, for example, U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Turkey, far from facilitating the process of reform or helping the forces of change in these countries, is actually hurting such forces as it plays into the hands of their conservative opponents and strengthens the forces of resistance.
Knowledge is annoying
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