The End of the Age of Islamist Insurgency?

(Foreign Policy) Jonathan Spyer - 20 years ago, the Second Intifada witnessed bus and cafe bombings perpetrated by organizations wrapped in the banners of insurgent political Islam, most importantly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It was the first eruption of political Islam in its insurgent form against a Western democracy. One year later, as Israel was still in the middle of its assault of suicide bombings, al-Qaeda destroyed the twin towers in New York. That attack - together with subsequent ones in Madrid, London, and Paris - ushered in a global focus on insurgent political Islam. For a distinct period, insurgent political Islamism was the most vital political ideology in the Middle East, capturing the energy that was once invested in pan-Arab nationalism. The high point of Islamist popular mobilization and insurgency was evident from 2010 to 2014 with the takeover of the Syrian rebellion by Sunni Islamist militias, the Muslim Brotherhood's brief triumph in Egypt, and the Islamic State's caliphate. Today, where does one find an insurgency led from below - a jihad, a popular revolt? There is certainly disorder. The end result of ten years of political chaos triggered by Islamist insurgencies is that large swaths of the Arabic-speaking world are smoking ruins, with semi-functioning governments in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. The writer is a research fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

2020-10-08 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive