Beginning with the wars of ancient Persia and Greece, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam searches for the theoretical underpinnings of the "clash of civilizations" that has determined so much of our political and cultural discourse. He revisits the Crusades, colonialism, the Enlightenment, and our contemporary war on terror, and he engages with both eastern and western thinkers, such as Adorno, Derrida, Farabi, Foucault, Hegel, Khayyam, Marcuse, Marx, Said, Ibn Sina, and Weber.
Adib-Moghaddam's investigation explains the conceptual genesis of the clash of civilizations and the influence of western and Islamic representations of the other. He highlights the discontinuities between Islamism and the canon of Islamic philosophy, which distinguishes between Avicennian and Qutbian discourses of Islam, and he reveals how violence became inscribed in western ideas, especially during the Enlightenment. Expanding critical theory to include Islamic philosophy and poetry, this metahistory refuses to treat Muslims and Europeans, Americans and Arabs, and the Orient and the Occident as separate entities.