I think Samuel Huntington is right that there is a clash of civilizations going on between the West and Islam. People I respect think otherwise. And I certainly know that both the West and the Islamic world and hugely complex. There are many points of connection between the two. I hope the connectors prevail.
But on one issue there clearly is a clash: whether women and men are equal. Indeed, in the furthest reaches of the Islamic world, the issue seems to be whether or not women are people.
A case in point is Afghanistan. Under the Taliban, Afghan women were the most oppressed in the world. Since we overthrew that regime and installed one with at least the trappings of parliamentary democracy and gender equality, the formal rules for men and women have been made more equal. Women make up 25% of the Afghan legislature.
But things haven't really changed there. A new human rights report says that most Afghan women are still pushed into arranged, even forced marriages. Worse, most of those brides were married before the legal age of 16. Western civilization has fundamentally rejected that way of treating women. Muslim civilization, even the more moderate parts, has not. That is a clash. And that is a clash worth fighting.