Militant Islam's War Against the West

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Dr. Max Singer - For more than 30 years, an ideological movement called Islamism has been at war with the West. Only a small fraction of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims support this war. But Islamist ideology is based on mainstream Muslim thinking and behavior. Much of the current troubles in the Middle East are not caused by the Islamist war. Syria and Iraq were in turmoil before ISIS came into existence. The Syrian war is a revolt against the brutality of Assad's Alawite rule; it was not caused by ISIS, and will continue in one form or another after ISIS' demise. Libya's chaos is more tribal than ideological. While the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for much of the violence and disorder in the region, there is also an element of Persian imperialism. Similarly, Turkish President Erdogan's motivation is partly Islamism but also neo-Ottoman imperialist ambitions. There is no way that the entire Muslim world will be willing to forego joining the rest of the world in becoming wealthy and free in order to continue a hopeless struggle to gain Muslim rule everywhere. Eventually the desire of Muslims to be part of the modern world will be stronger than the current forces that drive militant Islam's war against the West, and they will find ways to make their faith compatible with what they need to do to become modern. The writer, a founder of the Hudson Institute, is a senior fellow at the BESA Center.

2018-03-09 00:00:00

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