David Frum and the Clash of Civilizations

Question: Is there really a clash of civilizations?

David Frum: That's a complicated question. I don't know that I'd ever use that particular phrase.  I have trouble with the phrase.

I think so much of the inspiration for Islamic terror actually derives from western civilization. The terrorists, the people in al Qaeda are reading as much Franz Phenault, as much Lenin, as they are reading the Koran.

At the same time, it's also true that you inherit from traditional Islamic sources a lot of scriptures that can be cited as proof texts in favor of violence. But mostly I disapprove of the phrase because it blinds us to the reality that the greatest heroes of this transition, the bravest advocates of change and tolerance and liberalism and democracy, are going to come from inside the Islamic world. And any good transition that happens there is going to be the work of these brave souls. And they are going to be the true heroes of this epic struggle for this portion of humanity that affects us.

And so I think when you look out at the world, you should be at least as keen to look for friends as you are to monitor for dangers.

 

Recorded on: May 5 2008

 

 

 

It is complicated and mostly Frum disapproves.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less