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The good cop , bad cop routine

Reader comment on item: Islamism 2.0

Submitted by Stuart Fagin (United States), Nov 30, 2009 at 13:07

I vote for Islamism 1.5. In other words, the best view of the relationship between violent and lawful Islamism is that they are components of a single strategy. Think of it as a variation upon the good-cop, bad-cop routine. Specifically, violent Islamism abets lawful Islamism by (a) making lawful Islam look more acceptable than it otherwise would if the contrast did not exist; (Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's Hamburgers, once stated that the main reason for having the triple-hamburger on the menu, of which he sold very few, was to make the double-hamburger look very reasonable.) (b) elevating the status of lawful Islam as a needed magnet for young Muslim men who, it is argued, may otherwise turn to violent Islamism, and,(c) elevating the status of lawful Islam as a needed interlocutor for communicating with young Muslim men. The UK example Pipes cites in this article is particularly illustrative, but also is the advancement of groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain in the wake of the July 7, 2005 London subway bombings.

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