Tuesday, 21 August 2012

"Don't Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis"

A new Salafi Crescent, radiating from the Persian Gulf sheikdoms into the Levant and North Africa, is one of the most underappreciated and disturbing byproducts of the Arab revolts. In varying degrees, these populist puritans are moving into the political space once occupied by jihadi militants, who are now less in vogue. Both are fundamentalists who favor a new order modeled on early Islam. Salafis are not necessarily fighters, however. Many disavow violence.
By Robin Wright in the New York Times, 19 Aug here.
But really, Robin?  I mean, we shouldn't worry about the Islamists, simply because "many disavow violence"?
I mean, you say that "their [Salafist] goals are the most anti-Western of any Islamist parties".  True, but not much comfort... theirs is a virulent and violent anti-westernism, whereas other Islamists are just, let's say, staunchly and adamantly anti-western.
And consider that the term Islamism, while in some ways a "controversial term", most often includes the imposition of Sharia law and the struggle for a pan-Islamic state (aka the "Caliphate").
We should not "Fear" that. No, not "fear".....
But we should staunchly, adamantly and virulently (but not violently) oppose that.
oh... robustly, too..