The phrase “Muslim culture” is used generically to refer to a variety of Muslim cultural groups, including those from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the United States, each of which has its own distinct traditions and practices. Some traditions and rituals could be driven more by culture than by faith. The topic of “protocol” can get confusing due to all of the many ways that the same faith is expressed. All Muslims do, however, accept certain components of their culture or faith.
Muslims, for instance, have a universal belief in the Oneness of God, the Holy Scriptures, all Prophets from Adam to Muhammad, the Day of Judgment, etc. Giving to charity, expecting people to balance their responsibilities to God and their fellow humans, and emphasizing elderly care and compassion are all aspects of culture that are shared. Islam is also viewed as a way of life that embraces all people rather than a rigorous, exclusive religious law because of its emphasis on striking a balance between private and public life.
Western culture, on the other hand, is the legacy of social norms, ethical ideals, traditional rituals, belief systems, political systems, artifacts, and technology that are unique to the Western world. It is sometimes referred to as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society. The phrase refers to nations and civilizations outside of Europe whose history has endured significant contact with Europeans through immigration, colonialism, or impact. For instance, Oceania and the Americas are included in Western culture. Greek philosophy, Roman law, and Christian culture had the greatest of an impact on Western society.
Understanding Both Culture In-depth
Religion has always been a crucial component of every social structure. The formation of religious rules and their revision appear to be the central themes of human history. The two major global civilizations that have been at odds for millennia are based on the religions of Islam and Christianity. While the growth of both religions had periods of rigorous dogmatism, Islam progressively evolved into a system of beliefs that was extremely adamant and steadfast, viewing conformity as one of the pillars of social and political stability.
There is a pervasive yet strong stink of dread and insecurity in the interaction between the Islamic and Western cultures; something is wrong. The main source of the unease is the topic of violence: honor killings, suicide attacks, the Crusades, colonialism, the Taliban, Abu Ghraib, sharia, headscarves, youth unrest in France, jihad, Israel, insulting the Prophet, and freedom of speech are all examples of violence that permeate both history and the present.
The Middle East, the Islamic world, and Islam itself have all but become synonymous with Europe, the West, and Christendom. Unmixed theology and corrupted practice, theory and practice, are all recklessly mixed together. Cultural confrontations often take the place of political conflicts, and vice versa.
Perceptions are as least as important as facts, as is frequently the case. However, in this instance, the raw data is frightening enough. It may have been conceivable in the past to draw a separate line between “Islam” and “the West.” but not anymore. Boundaries are becoming more hazy: Millions of Muslims, many of whom are residents of Western countries, live in the West. Consequently, they are now indisputably a part of the West.
Conflicts That Come From This Are Quite Real
In contrast, the West has left its stamp on the Islamic world through its leaders and military leaders as well as through its materialism, technology, instruments of communication, and organizational frameworks that only hermits can totally avoid contact with. Conflicts that ensue are quite real.
However, given the contemporary European tendency to see themselves as the only heirs to the Enlightenment and to perceive reason as a Christian inheritance, it is unseemly for the people of Europe to disregard reason anytime their relationship with Islam and Muslims is at stake. We’ll start with religion. Even if the reality may be shaky and disputed, Germans in particular are prone to present the Judeo-Christian past as the foundation of European identity and culture.
Islam isn’t even worthy of a remark. At most, educated critics would briefly mention Islamic Spain, where Jewish and Muslim academics transcribed the Greek classics and sent them to the Christian West. This may help such academics maintain a little role in Europe’s cultural history, but as simple communicators rather than independent thinkers. But from a religious standpoint, it doesn’t really matter that they exist.
Mohammed was seen by Christians as a false prophet for many years; now, not many Christians still think of him as a legitimate prophet. Islam has a very distinct perspective on Judaism and Christianity. Islam officially views itself as being a part of the same monotheist lineage as its two sister religions. While it interacts with them and relates to them, it also thinks of itself as being superior. For Muslims, the revelation of Islam marks the end of the series of revelations, just like the New Testament follows the Old Testament for Christians. Although the Torah and the Gospels are revered, the genuine message can only be found in the Koran. Mohammed is the “Seal of the Prophets,” albeit Moses and Jesus are also prophets.
Before establishing comparisons between Islamic and Western civilizations, adherence should first be established. Religious conformity, in general, refers to the surrender of one’s own religious opinions, ideas, and convictions to the standards set out in the particular society’s religious system. When a person fears social isolation, wants to avoid social conflict, or aspires to a certain status in religious circles, group pressure makes it possible for that person to conform to religion; as a result, that person behaves obediently and refrains from openly challenging the religious authorities and dogmas. Religious uniformity and religious obedience are closely related concepts.
The Western world had to deal with the process of secularization—the growing liberation of all sectors of social life from religious norms and rules—as a result of the creation of new technologies, scientific advancement, and the expansion of social revolutions. The biggest increase in secularization and religious liberalization may be seen in the contemporary age, commencing from the postwar period, even if its preconditions can be traced to the periods of the Reformation. The recent influx of migrants into European nations, the escalation of Muslim religious fanaticism, and the shortcomings of multiculturalism policy have caused people to reevaluate Western secular principles. As a result, contemporary Christianity’s general lack of conformance and contempt for traditional norms render Western civilization more vulnerable than Islamic culture.