By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
Starting with the wars of historic Persia and Greece, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam searches for the theoretical underpinnings of the "clash of civilizations" that has made up our minds lots of our political and cultural discourse.
He revisits the Crusades, colonialism, the Enlightenment, and our modern conflict on terror, and he engages with either jap and western thinkers, akin to Adorno, Derrida, Farabi, Foucault, Hegel, Khayyam, Marcuse, Marx, stated, Ibn Sina, and Weber.
Adib-Moghaddam's research explains the conceptual genesis of the conflict of civilizations and the effect of western and Islamic representations of the opposite. He highlights the discontinuities among Islamism and the canon of Islamic philosophy, which distinguishes among Avicennian and Qutbian discourses of Islam, and he unearths how violence turned inscribed in western principles, particularly throughout the Enlightenment. increasing severe concept to incorporate Islamic philosophy and poetry, this metahistory refuses to regard Muslims and Europeans, americans and Arabs, and the Orient and the Occident as separate entities.
'This passionate and stylish paintings is a full of life antidote to a constellation of discourses steeped within the Weltanschauung that the name of Samuel Huntington's notorious publication encapsulates so good. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam's reflections are a stimulating contribution to Edward Said's legacy of radical critique of all essentialist buildings of otherness.'
(Gilbert Achcar, writer (with Noam Chomsky) of Perilous strength: the center East and U.S. international coverage )
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Additional info for A Metahistory of the Clash of Civilisations: Us and Them Beyond Orientalism
2 1 , no. 2, Summer 2 0 0 8 , pp. 2 1 7 - 2 3 4 . its structural power and psychological efficacy today, it is because it is repeatedly positioned within an ideational tradition rooted in the past. 4 These authors alert us to the effects that appeals to the past are designed to have: they are meant to create artificial territories populated with seemingly contingent truth conditions that permanently reify the logic of a particular idea. They are meant to create 'pseudo-realities'. Hence we are told that the clash between 'Islam' and the 'West' has always been there, that it is inevitable, that there is normality to the confrontation; that we are merely born into it and so on.
Having said that, it is precisely the vision of 'what could be' which is discussed more extensively in the last chapter that dramatises the gloomy reality of 'what is'; the two concepts are juxtaposed in the same chapter and throughout the book. From that juxtaposition between reality and 'utopia', a critical position is extracted. One-dimensional thought derives its norms, narratives, and ideology from the regime of truth constituted by the vast corpus of 'clash-conducive' productions. The critique of it resists the status-quo thus sustained and reproduced.
As a cultural artefact, the clash regime is the outcome of an apparently immutable, incestuous consensus amongst influential strata of European, North American and Muslim majority societies: they are all in agreement that there is a perennial and inevitable conflict between the secular Occident and the Muslim Orient, between dar al-Islam and dar al-harb between the West and the rest—you are either with us, both sides proclaim, or against us. The present study will show that ultimately there is no epistemological, methodological or psychological antagonism here.