The President of the the United States, Donald Trump called on Western nations to defend their way of life from dire threats during a speech in Poland before his trip to Germany for the G20 Summit. He said,
“There are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.”
“The defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”
Whilst many are unwilling to accept that there is clash of civilisations taking place today, the leader of the Western world makes this fact clear and called on all nations representing the West to stand up and defend their values in order to preserve their civilisation. But what is it that the West need to defend themselves against? Before we seek to answer this, it’s worth understanding what the Western way of life actually is.
The Western way of life
The ‘Western way of life’ is a broad term which can incorporate many aspects of Western culture including its history, its literature, its legislations, and its ideas. The core ideas of the Western way of life are freedom, democracy, human rights and secularism, amongst others. This was confirmed by Trump in the same speech:
“We treasure the rule of law (i.e. Democracy) and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success.”
“And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.”
All civilisations are based on core ideas and thoughts which unite them and are developed over years of struggle against former ideas or ideas which come to challenge them. This occurred with Capitalism when it fought against the Church in order to establish Secularism i.e. the separation of Church from State, as well as its battle against Communism.
Capitalism vs. Communism
In the 50s through to the 80s there were two major ideologies seeking dominance, namely Capitalism and Communism. The US were working towards destabilising the Soviet Union through a war of ideas which was termed the ‘Cold War’ as no large-scale fighting occured between the two ideologies. The US were eventually able to defeat the Soviet Union and consequently, the Communist ideology disappeared from the face of the earth. This signalled the demise of the main adversary to Capitalism and Western liberal democracy. Those events were a formal declaration of victory over Communism that paved the way for the US, the champion of liberal democracy, to become the leading superpower of the world and to dominate the international scene single-handedly.
It was this battle against Communism and the eventual victory of Capitalism which Trump reminded the Western nations about, especially given Poland’s experience against Communism. Trump said,
“Through four decades of communist rule, Poland and the other captive nations of Europe endured a brutal campaign to demolish freedom, your faith, your laws, your history, your identity — indeed the very essence of your culture and your humanity. Yet, through it all, you never lost that spirit. Your oppressors tried to break you, but Poland could not be broken”
What threatens Western civilisation today?
Coming to our question i.e. what threatens Western civilisation?, Trump went on to explain how the West faces a new enemy since the defeat of Communism,
“This continent no longer confronts the specter of communism. But today we’re in the West, and we have to say there are dire threats to our security and to our way of life.”
“We are confronted by another oppressive ideology — one that seeks to export terrorism and extremism all around the globe. America and Europe have suffered one terror attack after another. We’re going to get it to stop.”
“We are fighting hard against radical Islamic terrorism, and we will prevail. We cannot accept those who reject our values and who use hatred to justify violence against the innocent.”
So the threat to the Western way of life is ‘radical Islamic terrorism’. But is this confined to those who promote violence? No, it includes those who reject their values, including Democracy, Secularism, Freedoms, and Human Rights. The Muslim who seeks to please Allah alone rejects all these values:
- Democracy is the political framework of the Capitalist thought. Democracy, for those who embrace it, means that people rule themselves by themselves with the systems that they choose. This contradicts Islam and many Qur’anic verses where Allah obliges the Muslims to follow the law of Allah and reject any other law.
- Secularism is the separation of religion from lives affairs. Meaning religion should be confined to rituals and places of worship and have no say in solving the problems of life. The one who embraces secularism has the viewpoint that his solutions come from man, but the one who is revived upon Islam embraces the viewpoint that all his solutions come from Allah and therefore rejects the concept of secularism.
- Freedom is a natural product of Capitalism as man is told to maximise his individual interests. Therefore he is free to believe in whatever he chooses, even the worship of Satan. He is free to express whatever he wishes, even the cursing of Allah – Na’audhubillah. He is free to own whatever he wants, even a brothel for homosexuals. And he is free to live his personal life as he wishes and satisfy every whim and desire he may have. The Muslim rejects ‘freedom’ as he acknowledges that he is a slave of Allah and is bound by His commands and prohibitions.
- Human Rights are a set of articles concocted by the West to solidify their values, namely the four freedoms, after World War II. The rights of men and women are set by our lord and have been relayed to us by the Messenger (SAW). Muslims reject the so-called UN ‘Human Rights’ which were created to further the agenda of the Capitalist West.
So there is a threat to Western civilisation, but it is not ‘Islamic terrorism’ but the Islamic civilisation itself. There is a clash of civilisations taking place, however, one represents the truth whilst the other represents falsehood, and Allah (swt) reminds us frequently that the truth will always overcome falsehood.
“Nay, We hurl the Truth (Islam) against the Falsehood (Kufr), so it (the Truth) knocks out its brains, and behold, it (Falsehood) vanishes.”