Civilizational futures: Clashes or alternative visions in the age of globalization?
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This article underlines the existing similarities between Samuel Huntington's civilizational approach hypothesis and the fundamentals of political Islam. The similarity pertains to the argument related to the gradual weakening of nation-states which also constitutes the main theme of the globalization debate. The civilizational approach and political Islam signify new efforts to reach a much larger political community and organization in world politics. Both of them argue that the formation of new political actor(s) is replacing the old nation-states across religious and cultural affinities. The terrorist organization Al-Qaeda is trying to legitimize its political violence by manipulating the weakness of the nation-states and the utopia of the formation of a much more comprehensive political community and political organization through Islam. Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis indirectly provides a base for Al-Qaeda's rhetoric and a certain type of justification for its terror activities since the theory argues for the inevitability of the conflict between civilizations regardless of their political regimes (liberal or totalitarian) with civilizations being determined by their cultural and religious differences a theme that is used by the ideologues of political Islam. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.