Legitimacy and Reason: A Primer for Reduction of Tension Between the Western and Arab-Islamic Worlds   [open pdf - 380KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This monograph attempts to define the underlying cause of today's tension between the Western and Arab-Islamic worlds, along with identification of existing similarities which can be utilized and exploited to bring about common understanding and peaceful resolution. The cause is determined to be differing perceptions of legitimacy. To develop a common understanding of why these differences exist, the monograph demonstrates the continuing applicability of classical Greek logic and reason as taught by Plato and Aristotle and interpreted by early prominent Arab-Islamic philosophers. Common thought provides the basis for timeless understanding of common problems, issues, and concerns. Divergent thought, grounded in religious dogma and myth, opens windows toward political opportunism, isolationism, misunderstanding, and fear. Grounding in similar classic thought provides the initial ability for both sides to address the tension through common logic and reason. […] The monograph concludes with the assertion that reduction, if not resolution, of today's tension requires common understanding and acceptance of legitimacy by both sides. This can be obtained through encouraged application of reason and focus on interests, issues, and concerns common to both the Western and Arab-Islamic worlds, all while minimizing cultural differences and avoiding political, social, and religious rhetoric. Logic and reason exist independently of current contextual conditions, and can be universally applied. Additionally, a balanced application of both Hobbes' and Locke's ideas is required. To remain wedded to a singular approach without periodic analysis and reevaluation will only sustain the perpetual cycle of violence through the end of the twenty-first century, and will serve to destroy any chance of achieving legitimacy."

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