Some Westerners are puzzled that Iran’s foreign policy remains as bellicose today as it was in the time of Ayatollah Khomeini. But history shows that the regime’s foreign policy is designed to maintain its ideological identity.
In the wake of Egypt’s revolution and subsequent elections, Westerners have focused on the Muslim Brotherhood. But the Egyptian Salafis, more fundamentalist than the Brotherhood, bear watching as well.
The era of U.S.-approved, iron-fisted Arab dictators is over. Washington must get used to a Middle East in which public opinion matters to a much greater extent, anti-Western sentiment abounds and political Islam emerges as a major force.
The outcome in Afghanistan won't resemble the vision of America and its allies, who wanted a strong, Western-aligned central government keeping the Taliban at bay. The goals should now be less ambitious.
The conventional wisdom says Sayyid Qutb is the forefather of modern-day Islamic fundamentalism. What is less known is how the thinker's intense anti-Semitism and contempt for female sexuality contributed to this vulgar worldview.