‘Clash of Civilizations’
Mr. Lewis lengthy propounded his prognosis of a sick Arab society. In a canopy article in The Atlantic in 1990, “ The Roots of Muslim Rage,” he used the phrase “clash of civilizations” to explain what he noticed as inevitable friction between the Islamic world and the West. (The political scientist Samuel P. Huntington borrowed the phrase in an influential article of his personal in 1993, crediting Mr. Lewis.)
In his article, Mr. Lewis wrote: “Islam has introduced consolation and peace of thoughts to numerous tens of millions of women and men. It has given dignity and that means to drab and impoverished lives. It has taught individuals of completely different races to dwell in brotherhood and other people of completely different creeds to dwell facet by facet in affordable tolerance. It impressed an awesome civilization through which others moreover Muslims lived inventive and helpful lives and which, by its achievement, enriched the entire world.
“But Islam,” he continued, “like other religions, has also known periods when it inspired in some of its followers a mood of hatred and violence. It is our misfortune that part, though by no means all or even most, of the Muslim world is now going through such a period, and that much, though again not all, of that hatred is directed against us.”
In his view Islamic fundamentalism was at conflict with each secularism and modernism, as embodied by the West. Fundamentalists, he wrote, had “given an aim and a form to the otherwise aimless and formless resentment and anger of the Muslim masses at the forces that have devalued their traditional values and loyalties and, in the final analysis, robbed them of their beliefs, their aspirations, their dignity, and to an increasing extent even their livelihood.”
Mr. Cheney as soon as famous that within the 1970s, earlier than the Iranian revolution, Mr. Lewis had “studied the writings of an obscure cleric named Khomeini and saw the seeds of a movement that would deliver theocratic despotism.” Supporters of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in 1979.
Critics of Mr. Lewis stated he handled Western imperialism, American interventions and Israeli displacement of Palestinians as penalties of the area’s political failures and social backwardness fairly than as contributors to them. The political scientist Alan Wolfe known as Mr. Lewis’s positions on Islam “belligerent.” The Islamic historian Richard Bulliet instructed that Mr. Lewis regarded down on trendy Arabs.
“He doesn’t respect them,” Mr. Bulliet stated in an interview with Washington Monthly. “He considers them to be good and worthy only to the degree they follow a Western path.”