Will China Replace Islam as the West’s New Enemy?

It's just over a quarter of a century since the American political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote his famous essay on the Clash of Civilisations. It set the tone for a series of wars.

Huntington was writing after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of the Cold War between Soviet Russia and the West. Rather than an era of peace, Huntingdon forecast a new struggle between what he viewed as irreconcilable enemies: Islam and the West.

Huntington asserted that identity, rather than ideology, lay at the heart of contemporary politics. "What are you?", he asked, "and as we know, from Bosnia to the Caucasus to the Sudan, the wrong answer to that question can mean a bullet in the head."

He added:"Islam has bloody borders."

Western politicians like former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair followed Huntington's lead. For the last quarter century, many Muslim countries have been the target of the US and its allies.

Meanwhile Muslims have often been portrayed in Western media as lawless, radical ideologues and an existential threat to the world. This has given rise to virulent Islamophobia in the West with the rise of far right political parties in Europe.

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