Werner Horvath: "Clash of Civilizations II - Osama bin Laden". Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm, 2001.
Dominique Moisi, founder and Senior
Advisor at the French Institute for International Relations and Professor at the
College of Europe in Warsaw, writes in his essay "The Emotional Clash of
"The majority of Arabs may not support al-Qaeda, but they do not oppose it with all their heart. Instead, there is the temptation to regard Osama bin Laden as a type of violent Robin Hood, whose actions, while impossible to condone officially, have helped them to recover a sense of Arab pride and dignity. Here, perhaps, is the real clash of civilizations: the emotional conflict between the European culture of fear and the Muslim, particularly Arab, culture of humiliation. It would be dangerous to underestimate the depth of so wide an emotional divide, and to recognize its existence is the first step to overcoming it.