Publication Date



This short essay analyzes the deception and self-deception in talk of ‘the clash of civilizations’ and proceeds to diagnose what is wrong in the standard understanding of Islam in the Western media today by looking to the abiding history of colonial relations with Islam down to this day and also looking to the relation between ideals of democracy and the formation of religious identities. The essay closes with some remarks about the nature of identity and the importance to one’s own agency of the distinction between the first and the third person point of view in Muslim self-understanding.


Institute for Social Justice

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.