Islamists, even when not in power, wield fear and faith to pressure their societies in conservative directions
Seven years after 9/11, views on the Islamist threat remain polarized and both are flawed, argues journalist and author Sadanand Dhume: The right overplays the danger to Europe and the United States, while the left underestimates its impact on Muslim-majority countries. Ironically, the very patterns of weakness in Muslim societies strengthen minority Islamists, among the most organized and motivated players in many Muslim nations. Islamic culture prohibits any criticism of Islamic traditions and leads to the suggestion that a lack of faith, rather than failure to embrace modernity, spur poverty and inequality, explains Dhume. Education and economic development carry less priority than rigid faith. Therefore, he concludes, the threat posed by Islamism and its extremist tactics is indirect for the West, immediate and serious for moderation and the liberal democracies of developing Muslim nations.
(Continue reading: YaleGlobal)