Revolt Against the West: A Comparison of the Boxer Rebellion of 1900-1901 & the Current War Against Terror   [open pdf - 671KB]

"This thesis compares the Western response to two radical challenges in eras considerably removed in time: the 1900-1901 Boxer rebellion in China and today's Islamic terror. It brings a much-needed historical perspective to bear in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary Western conceptualization of the al-Qaeda and Taliban threat as a "clash of civilizations." It demonstrates that the current struggle against Islamic fundamentalism is not an altogether new challenge to Western interest and values. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are in the end an expression of the same forces of resistance that also led to the origination of the Boxers in 19th century China. The cultural pressure that the West unavoidably developed by its imperialistic policy in the 19th and early 20th centuries was replaced by the penetration of the world with values, standards and symbols of the Western way of life and civilization in the course of globalization. The West ought to understand that the current terrorist threat is not "the next stage of history," as some scholars erroneously puts it, but a known historical phenomenon in a new form, for which neither the West nor other cultures bear the blame."

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