Rooms and Borders

Americans and Europeans often do not see eye to eye about matters Muslim. Differing historical experiences help explain why.

Issue: Summer 2003

It takes two to make a border, even a bloody one. Samuel Huntington's
trope about Islam's sanguinary cyclical history of confrontation and
expansion was adduced when hot embers still glowed in the residue of
the Cold War--and when the idea of "the West" still rang true as
intellectual currency.

Today, European borders are dissolving faster than metaphysical or
emotional attachments to the new trans-national polity can form. On
this side of the Atlantic, we too are at sea. As our old European
alliances are being de- and re-natured by Europe's
self-transformation, our conception of the interface of East and West
must shift as well.

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