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Any report of the impending death of Islamism is greatly exagerated

Reader comment on item: Another Voice Predicting Islamism's Doom

Submitted by Rich Mc (United States), Jun 24, 2016 at 15:25

While no one, save perhaps Nostradamus  on a good day can accurately predict world geo-political future, I submit the optimistic views of (Fmr.) President Moncef Marzouki, seconded by Dr. Pipes, on the impending demise of radical Islam (Islamism) defy analytical scrutiny.

Marzouki tries to strike a parallel between the anticipated fall of Islamism and the actual fall of Communism in both the former Soviet Union (wherein the nation also collapsed, reborn as Russia) and in China, where it simply morphed into a hybrid form of capitalism. Key point #1: In both instances the repressive, authoritarian natures of these respective governments remain; perhaps they are less draconian and conspicuous, but are nonetheless essentially and subtly present.

Additionally, this analogy fails from the start. Marzouki equates Communism as an ideology (clearly different than but fully equivalent) to Islam. This is transparently incorrect as a. Communism is an economic system which acquired, thru coercion, the fervor of an ideology, while b. Islamism is the product of Islam, a religion, and came about by adherents emphasizing very literal and parochial reading of extremist dictums contained in both the Koran and Hadith. (This is an over simplification, but is essentially correct.) While there is (also) a political component to Islamism, it does not contain an economic component remotely equivalent to that which is core to Communism.

The point is, the strength of belief in Communism, however robust, by its followers could not hold a candle to the fanatical religious fervor that is felt and is being tragically expressed by today's Islamists. Throughout the Cold War you didn't have Communists donning suicide vests by the hundreds in retribution against Free Market opponents. Communism as an economic system in both the Soviet Union and China failed to live up to its promises, and collapsed under its own ponderous weight in each. Then there was movement toward an economic system that actually works. To the contrary, Islamists are not motivated by better economic conditions, lifestyles and personal freedoms for themselves. (The assumption otherwise was unfortunately made by Pres. G.W. Bush and his Neocon advisors.) I suggest Islamists are motivated by exclusively by religious zealotry, i.e., fulfilling those extremist passages in the Koran & Hadith (e.g., establishing a Caliphate) and believe any tangible rewards for their fealty and actions will await the afterlife.

Thus, to suggest that the same pervasive disenchantment and disintegration that befell Communism will similarly impact Islamism, is just wishful thinking. The fundamental motivations of respective adherents are completely different.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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