Clash Of Civilizations, Orientalism, and the “Civilized” and “Uncivilized”

Comparing International Reactions Through the Cases of the Middle East and Europe


  • Hussain Alhussainy Political science (Honours) student



Islamophobia, Clash of civilizations, Orientalism, Global response, Identity, Media representation, Post-Colonial Theory, Political Theory


This article examines Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" theory which suggests that the world will be divided into two opposing civilizations, the West and East, in the post-Cold War era. Huntington advocates for Western society to exert control over Eastern civilization, particularly the Islamic world, in order to maintain Western values and beliefs. Additionally, I examine Edward Said's criticism of this theory, which argues that Huntington’s theory is based on ignorance and portrays non-Western societies as backward and uncivilized. This article demonstrates how Samuel Huntington's theory is very much present in the way conflict is viewed in different regions and civilizations around the world, as observed through modern Orientalism. This is demonstrated by the double standards and differential treatment of Eastern and Western conflict by Western nations and their media's portrayal of Eastern conflicts as upholding the norm. I then highlight these differences in treatment by comparing the reaction and action of Western nations to the Russian invasion of Ukraine versus the invasion of Iraq by the United States.

Author Biography

Hussain Alhussainy, Political science (Honours) student

I am a third-year undergraduate studying Political Science in the Honours program at the University of Alberta. I am working on completing a thesis that delves into the historical examination of ableist and exclusionary policies and practices that create barriers for students with disabilities to pursue and participate in the post-secondary environment. My thesis examines how disability is socialized within the post-secondary campus, supervised by Dr. Joshua St. Pierre. My secondary research interest is colonial/post-colonial studies in the Middle East. In addition to my research pursuits, I currently hold the position of Vice President External of the Organization for Arts Students and Interdisciplinary Studies (the Faculty of Arts Student Association) in addition to my role as an executive member of the Arts Faculty Council (AFC) and as an Arts representative on the General Faculties Council (GFC).