Since the beginning of human society civilization, the glaring differences and similarities in the Islam and western world approaches has been significant. This has especially been with regard to the values exhibited by both sides. As a result, in the recent past numerous debates have turned their focus to the arising issues on account of their relevance and application. In essence, it is critical to note there are indeed differences and similarities on account of religious fundamentals, cultural values, concepts of human civilization, and the emergence of the notion of extremism.
In essence, both Islam values and western values pursue the perspective economic good for its members, and encourage consistent spread in terms of territorial markings. It is therefore evident that both value systems promote the concept of territorial expansion on account of spreading respective religious connotations (Amin 43). In addition, the fundamental aspect of territorial distribution is primarily impinged economic goals and perspectives. Western values, for instance, promote revenue collection, trade development, and enhancement of economic objectives similar to the Islamic values (Amin 39). However, it is important to note that there are some differences in terms of running the established economic systems belonging to each one of them.
Islamic values reflect different virtues from western values on account of the role of religion. Western values have been primarily established based on Christianity virtues, which Islam values are primarily established on the Muslim religion and perspectives. This is especially in terms of the expression of underlying principles and definitive elements. Lewis remarks, “Religion for Muslims means both more and less than the equivalent term for Christians…for Muslims, Islam is not merely a system of belief and worship, a compartment of life, so to speak distinct from other compartments which are the concern of unreligious authorities administering nonreligious laws” (4). Hence, the interpretation of actions, presentations, of ideas, and individual expressions poses from the Christianity perspective, which has views religion only as a worship element.
Islam values and Western values exhibit significantly varying cultural traits on account of the respective traditional settings of both sides. Reuter Nicole remarks, “Huntington claims that the axis of international conflict will be based on culture, rather than on differences between nations, political and economic systems or standards of development” (6). In this sense it is important to note that the importance of cultural identity, in both accounts delineates each other the achievement of similar objectives, since culture forms a significant aspect in both settings.
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Another significant aspect of cultural variation is in form treatment of gender perspectives. This is because the western values promote male and female prowess equally, while Islamic values value the male more (Amin 23). Hence the male gender is capable of playing a significant role in many areas, for instance, as seen in the female gender. This is attributed to the fact that in the history of developing Islam values primarily through reflection in the Islam religion, more emphasis was placed on the roles of the male gender. However, in the recent past the Muslim values are increasingly becoming accommodative and appreciative of the female gender. Mazrui observes that, “Mores and values have changes rapidly in the West in the last several decades as revolutions in technology and society progressed. Islamic countries, which are experiencing many of the changes may follow suit” (Mazrui). Hence, this suggests Islam values are continuously becoming more relaxed to accommodate the new generation.
There is significant confrontation of Islam with the West especially in account of the existing legal systems. For instance, the role played by religion in impacting upon the current legal systems is significant in terms of their derivation. Black Antony observes that “Islam introduced its own legal system. Christians, on the other hand accepted the jurisdiction of the Roman law” (15). This has significantly led to instances of confrontation especially in predominantly westernized nations, where there are limitations towards the practice of Islamic law. There also exists different execution mechanisms in terms of certain fundamental issues, which the western values promote, compared to the Muslims one.
Finally, other fundamental confrontations between western values and Islam values on account of the fundamentals guiding the establishment of governance virtues in both settings. Western values exhibit liberal democracy, which has enabled its societies to have a feel of openness, popular participation, government accountability, and high economic productivity (Mazrui). On other hand, the fundamentals of Islamic values significantly promote the opposite of those virtues, where they exhibit a limited democracy, closed systems, and unaccountability among other governance perspectives. For instance, Turkey is a good model in dilemma due to an attempt to balance democratic principles and human principles (Mazrui).
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The transition zones of civilization both on a geographical, social, economic, and political framework, show significant clashes between Islam and western values, based on the perspective of globalization. Samuel Huntington predicts that there will be a potential shift of societies in the world in order to actualize the achievement of a relevant future, even though nothing like universal civilization will occur, while nations will learn to coexist with one another (Reuter 6). This therefore suggests a possibility of significant integration occurring among these different sides in the near future.
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