Many westerners have speculated that a confrontation between Islam and the West is in the offing. For example, Samuel Huntington wrote in a recent, much noted article, that the centuries-old military interaction between these two civilizations "could become more violent" in the future. But a civilization-to-civilization showdown is not truly likely, for the simple reason that Muslims (and probably Westerners) are too diverse to stand as a bloc.
Instead, the cultural fireworks ahead will more likely take place among Muslims themselves--between those eager to accept Western ways and those who reject them. On one side stand those Muslims confident to learn from outsiders, oriented toward democracy and ready to integrate into the world; on the other stand those who are fearful, who seek strong rule, and who hope to withdraw from the world. In a word, it's a battle between secularist and fundamentalist Muslims--to be more precise, a competition between two of the great countries of the Middle East, Turkey and Iran. It's likely to be a long, deep, and difficult fight.
Trouble is, the Turks don't yet realize that they are engaged in this battle.