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Islamism in Disarray--Does it Matter?

Reader comment on item: Islamism in Disarray

Submitted by Alex (United States), Oct 5, 2013 at 15:25

I think that there are two important caveats to any optimism that one might feel from observing that Islamists in many Middle Eastern countries seem to be dividing against each other:

First, despite any internal rifts that may be developing between various Islamist groups, the threat of hardcore jihadists like those who recently attacked in Nairobi and the Syrian town of Maaloula launching attacks that distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims will probably increase dramatically in the near future, out of response to Ayman Alzawahiri's recent message calling for such attacks and as a desperate attempt to unite Muslims behind Islamist leadership in countries where brief experiments with Islamist government have led to extreme popular disapproval.

Second, there is no way to end the Iranian nuclear program without a massive armed confrontation between Israel and the US on one side and Iran and its numerous terrorist allies on the other. A war against Israel could still unite many Muslims, both Sunni and Shii, Islamist and non-Islamist, and kill an unfathomable number of people. I am very optimistic about Islamism's long term likely fall from grace, but in the meantime, the twin prospects of scorched-earth revenge attacks at the local level in Muslim countries and of global terrorism and unconventional war from Iran might amount to a world war.

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