Why Revolutionary Sunni Islamism is the World's Greatest Strategic Threat and None of It Is Moderate
by Barry Rubin, Editor of the Middle East Review of Inter- national Affairs Journal
Reviewed by David Jones
In a 27 August Gloria Center article, its director, Barry Rubin, inter alia editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal, explored the toxic components of “revolutionary Sunni Islamism.” That movement consists of three horsemen: al-Qaeda (in multiple guises); Salafists; and the Muslim Brotherhood. They are equally dangerous albeit differently focused.
Al-Qaeda’s adherents are obvious; they just want to kill you. They compromise with no one and cooperate with hardly anyone. For Rubin, they are akin to 19th century terrorist-nihlists able to kill and disrupt, but not seize power or govern. In short, they are the “worst guys” but not the most dangerous.
The Salafists are Muslim Brotherhood in a hurry. They want to overturn existing power structures quickly and using any necessary violence. Both Salafists and the Brotherhood seek to use and ally with the other, making the relationship uneasy at best. For Rubin, “the Salafists’ goal is the precise, exact same as that of the Brotherhood. The only question is how fast to go, how radical to talk, and how much violence to use.”
Implicitly, Rubin regards the Brotherhood as the most dangerous. In evidence, he cites the brother of its founder, who described the “Brotherhood as the “Communist Party of Islamism,” an observation incorporating communism’s patience and organizational skills and its aims of global domination and control. The Brotherhood’s objectives, according to Rubin are: a Sharia state; a regional caliphate; Israel destroyed; America evicted from the Middle East and North Africa; women reduced to second-class citizenship; “gays put into their graves:” and Christians subordinated or expelled.
To gain control of Muslims, Islamic revolutionaries intimidate and/or assassinate moderate secularists. Shia Muslims (mutual hatred); millions of anti-Islamist Muslims; many Middle Eastern Berbers, Kurds, Turks, Iranians, Druze, Christians, and—yes—Israel represent the Islamists’ principal adversaries.
Rubin believes the moderates and their allies will ultimately prevail—as they did over communism and fascism, but he asks rhetorically whether the West will adopt policies making such victory easy and quick rather than long and bloody?
Unfortunately, he does not specify those policies.s