WESTERN CULTURE’S INFLUENCE
As The United States spreads their western prerogative (culture, economics, politics) across the globe, we are seeing it being faced with a lot of criticism and resentment. This is especially the case with strong islamic fundamentalist who see the cultural expansion as threatening to their own ideals and standards. This Westernization as it has been called is being met with increasing levels of resentment and hostility by many parts of the world, but in particular with the Islamic world.
As westerners here in the United States we are exposed to many cultures and people not of this area. We see many people from all over the world come to us in search of money, land, or just a fresh start. Some from parts of Asia, Africa, and many parts of the Middle East, and though we are taught some things about theses people and of their origins, there is little many of us really know or understand. This is especially true when it comes to our brothers and sisters from the Islamic world.
Over the past century we have witnessed behaviors and actions of these people that have created an identity in our minds, but none seem to truly encompass what these people are all about. The same lack of understanding resides in those who have come here from the Islamic world, where the traditional identity has been distorted and even lost in the move to the West. It’s interesting to me the effect globalization has had on the Islamic world, and how it has aided in the rise of Islamic neo-fundamentalism.
Like many other religions, the Islamic religion is affected by society, history, and the constant interference of globalization. With one third of the Muslim world now living as minorities in other countries, it has become increasingly difficult for Muslims to hold on to their culture, religion and way of life. Which has in part given rise to neo-fundamentalist who try and withhold past traditions, and make sense of all of it in a 21st century globalized civilization.
Typically young and educated and some times radical, these men and woman are determined to build a bridge to their ancestry as well as develop a modernized Islam identity. Being that there are so many miles between the old school of thought in the Middle East, and the neo-fundamentalist in the West, the world’s perception of Islam can be heavily distorted. Though they say the “Kuran” is cut and dry, it seems as though it can be interpreted many different ways, leading to many different schools of thought on the subject, including neo-fundamentalist. Which is a sect that over-all feels threatened by everything that conflicts with their ideals and beliefs.
With this heavy influence of culture, economics, and politics by the West across the globe, we have seen everything transform, from industries, sciences, finances, and even religion. The West almost has a way of affecting things without even being aware of it sometimes. We have almost over night changed the shape of the world, so it should be as no surprise if there is hostility and ill wishes towards those that have reformed the world. People can adapt to a new job or a new home, but when cultures and ways of life are infringed upon, you can bet that the repercussions of those actions will be heard and felt around the world.
I believe that those living locally here in the U.S. would feel similarly if our culture and way of life became suddenly extremely influenced by the culture of the Islam world. In fact I bet some of you became angry by even thinking about it. How do you think they feel?