A classic of international relations literature is “The Clash of Civilizations – and the remaking of the world order” by Samuel P. Huntington published in 1997. The conclusion of that book is that Islam (among other world ideologies) will be involved in an epic clash with other world religions, including atheists.
A significant reason for this clash is Islamic doctrine mandates this “clash” via what the West refers to as “radical Muslims”. Despite the denial by US presidents, the Pope, and most media that Islamic terrorists such as ISIS and other radical elements of Islam have NOTHING to do with Islam, there are sound Islamic doctrinal reasons why these groups have EVERYTHING to do with Islam.
In addition to the clear evidence of “radicals” claiming they are Muslim, that they perpetrate their terror on behalf of Islam, that they shout Allahu Akbar when committing their terror, that hundreds of terror groups identify with Islam, and that 99.9% of all acts of terror are committed by declared Muslims, there is clear Islamic doctrine that also supports Islamic terror.
What is the Islamic doctrine that informs and motivates ISIS and the other Islamic “radicals?”
In Christianity, the operational mandate is “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” This verse has influenced Christian doctrine and behavior from Christianity’s founding. Sure there have been exceptions. But Christian doctrine based on the New Testament has declared it is unscriptural for individual Christians to exact vengeance. That belongs to the Lord, either in the spiritual sense in this life, or in the afterlife.
On the other hand, in Islam the responsibility for exacting vengeance is the exact opposite. It is the responsibility of the individual Muslim to exact vengeance on the infidel, the unbeliever who, in the view of Islamic scripture and tradition, have allegedly corrupted their Christian and Jewish faith. Allah is angry at that alleged corruption by the infidel, and commands his faithful Muslims, individually and personally, to act on his behalf to exact vengeance on the unbeliever. The so-called “radicals” are doing exactly what their Islamic religion requires them to do to be faithful to Allah’s commands.
The video below by Robert Spencer goes into great detail in his talk titled “The Theological Aspects of Islam That Lead to Jihad.”
Now on to how Turkey and Russia are at center stage in the Clash of Civilizations.
Prior to the first world war, 20% of the Turkish population was Christian. In the period during the war, up to 3 million indigenous Christians were killed.
According to the Christian Literature and Living website,
In 1928, Ataturk [the first president of Turkey] had a clause removed from the Turkish Constitution that declared Islam as the national religion. Furthermore, all teaching on Islam was banned from [Turkish] school. Even after Ataturk's death, secularism has still been maintained by his successors.
The problem is, secularism ended with Turkey’s drift toward Islamism over the past 20+ years. Islamist Recep Erdogan was elected as Turkey’s new president in 2014. He had a central role in guiding Turkey to orthodox Islam as he served as the Prime Minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and as the Mayor of İstanbul from 1994 to 1998. He helped bring about a decidedly Islamist mandate to Islam’s laws, politics and culture.
Turkey was admitted as a member of NATO in 1952 during its primarily secular period. Since then, Turkey’s drift toward Islamism and purging of Christianity gained steam. But US foreign policy continued to support Islamic Turkey despite its ideological shift away from US ideals.
Today, Christians constitute less than 0.2% of the Turkish population. Over 98% of Turkey’s population is Sunni Muslim. Turkey supports Muslims who are opposed to Syria’s Assad. ISIS is among the Muslims Turkey supports against Syria.
Interestingly, Syria claims 87% Sunni Muslims and 10% Christians, many comprised of Palestinian refugees.
Russia, influenced by a combination of atheistic Communism and a significant (nearly 50%) Christian population, supports Syria’s Assad. Russia likely sees Assad as a stabilizing force against the more orthodox (aka “radical”) elements of Islam – maybe seen as a Syrian “Atatürk”, trying to keep Islam in check, albeit by dictatorial and occasionally oppressive and violent means.
So, we have Islamic Turkey supporting ISIS, shooting down a “Christian” Russian jet bombing Islamists opposed the Assad, while the US is in a NATO alliance committed to Turkey’s defense. At the same time the US has been supporting various Islamic forces, including ISIS, against the Syrian government supported by Russia.
The United States is presently on the WRONG side of this clash. [See related: US has been arming ISIS]
If this isn’t a set up for a classic “clash of civilizations”, and more…
Stay tuned. Things will be interesting.