How have western countries developed?
The relationship between the Islamic and the Western world has been ambivalent over the past few decades. September 11th certainly marked a turning point in the relationship between the two worlds. Then came the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not seem to want to end, Iran’s nuclear program has further increased the risk of a military conflict between an Islamic country and "the West". But in none of these cases is it just a conflict between the West and the Islamic world or a religious conflict between Islam and Christianity. The matter is more complicated.
Around 20 million Muslims now live in Europe. When we talk about the western world, this also includes these 20 million people who now belong to Europe. The division between the Islamic and the Western world is therefore misleading. It suggests that this is about a cultural split between two value systems.
If you take a closer look at the real conditions, you quickly see that political and economic interests shape the relationships between Islamic and non-Islamic states and by no means religious affiliations or affiliations to certain value systems. Let's look at Salafism, for example. September 11 is the responsibility of Saudi Salafists. The Salafists pose a great threat to peaceful coexistence in Europe. Salafist ideas are imported from Saudi Arabia.
It's about economic interests
Accordingly, the relations between the western world and Saudi Arabia should consequently be quite disrupted. But Saudi Arabia is one of the western world's most important allies. It's about economic interests - oil in this case. Neither religious affiliations nor value systems play a role. Europe and North America even put their national security at risk in order to pursue economic interests. Any support of western governments from states like Saudi Arabia means promoting Salafism in their own western countries. So while many Western states are fighting Salafism and extremism in their own country, they are supporting its sources abroad.
The people in many Islamic, especially Arab, countries suffer from dictatorial regimes that are also supported by Western states. It should not be forgotten that Hosni Mubarak, like Saddam Hussein before, was a close ally of the Western states as President of Egypt for many decades. These dictatorial rulers exploited their own peoples for decades and always received political and military backing from Western states.
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