Tuesday, July 23, 2013
The Demise of Radical Islam
Islamism's Likely Doom -Daniel Pipes, PhD
As recently as 2012, it appeared that Islamists could overcome their many internal dissimilarities — sectarian (Sunni, Shiite), political (monarchical, republican), tactical (political, violent) or attitudes toward modernity (Salafi, Muslim Brotherhood) — and cooperate.
But Islamists have in recent months abruptly and overwhelmingly thrown themselves at each others’ throats. Islamists still constitute a single movement who share similar supremacist and utopian goals, but they also have different personnel, ethnic affiliations, methods and philosophies.
Islamist internecine hostilities have flared up in many other Muslim-majority countries. Sunni versus Shia tensions can be seen in Turkey versus Iran, also due to different approaches to Islamism; in Lebanon, where it’s Sunni versus Shiite Islamists and Sunni Islamists versus the army; Sunni versus Shiite Islamists in Syria; Sunni versus Shiite Islamists in Iraq; Sunni Islamists versus Shiites in Egypt; and Houthis versus Salafis in Yemen.
[M]embers of the same sect fight each other...This pattern of fracturing brings to mind the 1950s divisions of pan-Arab nationalists. They aspired to unify all Arabic-speaking peoples, as the expression then went, “From the [Atlantic] ocean to the [Persian] gulf.” However appealing the dream, its leaders fell out as the movement grew in power, dooming pan-Arab nationalism to the point that it eventually collapsed under the weight of kaleidoscopic and ever-more minute clashes.
In fact, every effort at forming an Arab union failed...
Reflecting deep Middle East patterns, dissension among Islamists likewise prevents them from working together. As the movement surges, as its members approach power and actually rule, its cracks become increasingly divisive. Rivalries papered over when Islamists languish in the opposition emerge when they wield power.
Should this divisive tendency hold, the Islamist movement is doomed, like fascism and communism, to be no more than a civilizational threat inflicting immense damage but never prevailing. This possible limit on Islamist power, which became visible only in 2013, offers grounds for optimism but not for relaxation.
[The Washington Times]