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 second year Political Science (Honours) student specializing in disability policy and inequity research. I currently have the honour and privilege of serving as both the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) director and non-governmental organization (NGO) director with the Organization for Arts Students and Interdisciplinary Studies (OASIS).  I am currently a voting member on the Faculty of Arts Acadimic Affairs committee and a member of the University of Alberta Rotract club which has a mission of serving our local community through  volunteering and fundraising for those in need. I am currently working on creating a fundraising organization at the UofA for the Glenrose rehabilitation Hospital which aims to assist both children and adults with physical and mental rehabilitation.