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Articles on Western civilisation

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Sculpture of ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Khwarizmi in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Latin discovery of Al-Khwarizmi’s work introduced the numerals 0-9, one of many ways in which Islamic cultures have contributed to Western civilisation. LBM1948/Wikimedia Commons

Explainer: what Western civilisation owes to Islamic cultures

Western civilisation and Islam are sometimes seen as diametrically opposed. Yet Islamic cultures have contributed much to the West, in language, philosophy and literature.
On Jan. 15, 2019, the House voted 416-1 for a resolution to reject Congressman Steve King’s words about why terms like ‘white nationalist’ and ‘western civilization’ are offensive. Here a June 2018 file photo on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Memo to Iowa congressman: Western civilization was never just western

“Western civilization” has always been tangled up with Africa, Asia and the Americas. In other words, there never was a West without the Rest.
The Parthenon is visible for miles around from the Acropolis (citadel) on which it stands. Shutterstock

Blowing up the Parthenon: the power of a symbol

The Parthenon has been seen as central to the history of Western civilisation. But the building has a troubled past that is somewhat at odds with our ideas of democratic values.
Donald and Melania Trump in Paris last week. According to the Washington Post, the president has made 6,420 false or misleading comments in 649 days. Ian Langsdon/EPA

Friday essay: turning up the level of civilisation

US president Donald Trump’s industrial scale deception has dangerous implications everywhere. What then, can we do to foster a more civilised society?

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