Anne-Marie Slaughter, is the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. She is presently on leave, serving as Director of Policy Planning for[…]
Slaughter: There is no clash of civilizations. That is an idea, as far as I’m concerned, that can recede into the 20th century history, and the United States is the best proof. Any of our cities, any of our classrooms as I look out at Princeton, or if I go to the opening exercises and I hear in the Princeton Chapel, I hear a reading from the Koran, I hear a reading from the Bible but I hear a reading from Buddhist scriptures, from Baha’i scriptures, from every great civilization and every religious tradition on earth. And we coexist, not always perfectly harmoniously… Of course, there are clashes of civilizations all the time, but there is no great clash of historical civilizations. And the idea that the Muslim world is once again clashing with the Christian world flies in the face of countless societies that are either predominantly Muslim but are tolerant, or a predominantly Christian but Muslims are growing communities in all of them. So, it is a pernicious idea. It’s an idea that risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it’s an idea that we can easily put to rest by looking at the reality of the world we live in.