Islamism: R.I.P.Issue: Spring 2001
Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a chorus of influential opinion-makers in Washington began to sound an alarm about a new ideological threat posed to the West: the spread of "Islamism", a virulent brand of political Islam whose adherents demonized the culture, governments and even the citizens of Western democracies. In recent months, the streets of the West Bank and Gaza have seemingly validated that judgment, as discontented Palestinian youths, infused with religious fervor, revolted against an equitable peace proposition and chose to vent their frustrations against their Israeli neighbor and its distant American ally. Yet, despite sporadic manifestations of terror and fury, the "Green Peril" never made it into the weight class of the "Red Menace." While two decades ago Iran's self-confident mullahs professed to lead an Islamic crusade, today Islamism is everywhere on the retreat and U.S.