Young Islam on Trek

President Erdogan of Turkey used the term “clash of civilizations” to describe the growing divide between Islamic nations and the West, following the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in Paris.

NBC’s Richard Engel used the same term Monday evening in a news report focused on the ten Muslim countries that witnessed demonstrations and riots over the weekend.   They were angry over Charlie Hebdo’s caricature of the prophet Mohammed on its cover this week.

In the West, people are showing their support for freedom of speech and of the press.   Muslims, on the other hand, are opposed to any image of their prophet, as this is considered a sin and an insult to Islam.   There is no narrowing the gap!

Amongst the countries that witnessed demonstrations over the weekend were Iran, Afghanistan, Chechnya (ruled by Russia), Pakistan and Niger, north of Nigeria.   In the latter, churches were set alight with people in them.

It was university professor Samuel P. Huntington who first popularized the term “clash of civilizations” in his book on the subject, published in 1996.   Prior to that the term had been used by Huntington in a lecture to the American Enterprise Institute and earlier by Middle East expert Bernard Lewis.   In fact, usage goes back as far as 1926, when Basil Matthews wrote “Young Islam on trek: a study in the clash of civilizations.”

When we consider the term goes back almost a century, we can realize that the concept is not a new one.   What makes it more urgent and serious is that the number of Muslims in the world is increasing rapidly while the number of Christians isn’t.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, roughly 25 % of the total number of people.   Of greater significance is that 62% are under the age of 30.   This is the recruiting pool for ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist factions.   The problem of Islamic terrorism is only going to worsen.

The clash of civilizations is partly due to ignorance. People in the West are lacking in knowledge when it comes to Islam but Muslims are ignorant of Western history and culture and do not understand how long it took to gain freedom of speech and how it is a fundamental component of western culture.

Leaders of western countries seem bewildered and do not understand how to tackle this problem.   Most leaders are of the 60’s generation that believed religion was something in the past, of little relevance today.   They have been proved wrong – but don’t know how to adjust their thinking.

Ordinary citizens seem to have a better grasp on reality, experiencing the clash of civilizations first hand with their neighbors, colleagues at work, people in stores and on the streets.   There is a widening gap between the elites and the people, which could presage dramatic changes this year as elections are held in a number of European countries.   Populist parties are gaining strength and will likely continue to do so with each terrorist attack.

Although the Bible does not use the term “clash of civilizations,” a coming clash between two major powers is prophesied in Daniel 11:40.   These powers are called “the king of the south” and the “king of the north,” two powers who are situated south and north of Jerusalem.   Conflict arises when the “king of the south” attacks the “king of the north.”   One translation uses the term “pushes”.   What we are seeing now with repeated terror attacks by Muslims in Europe could just be the beginning of this clash.   The question is: at what point will the European nations hit back?




  1. The victor in the clash of civilizations has already been decided…

    Daniel 7/21… I watched, and that same horn made
    war with the saints and overcame them,
    /22… Until the Ancient of Days came, and
    judgment was given to the saints of the
    Most High. And the time came that the
    saints possessed the kingdom.
    /23… Thus he said, ‘The fourth beast shall
    be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which
    shall be different from all the other kingdoms
    and shall devour the whole earth,
    and shall trample it and break it in
    /24… And the ten horns out of this kingdom
    are ten kings that shall arise. And
    another shall arise after them. And he
    shall be different from the first, and he
    shall subdue three kings.
    /25… And he shall speak words against the
    Most High, and shall wear out the saints
    of the Most High, and think to change
    the set times and the laws. And they shall
    be given into his hand until a time and
    times and one-half time.
    /26… But the judgment shall sit, and his
    dominion shall be taken away to be consumed
    and to be destroyed unto the end.
    /27… And the kingdom and dominion, and
    the greatness of the kingdom under the
    whole heaven, shall be given to the people
    of the saints of the Most High,
    Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
    And all kingdoms shall serve and
    obey Him.’
    /28… Here is the end of the matter. As for
    me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me
    greatly, and my countenance changed.
    But I kept the matter in my heart.”

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