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The Return of Radical Islam
Has Hamas sparked a new wave of global jihadism?
In 1976, the late historian Bernard Lewis penned his seminal essay, titled, “The Return of Islam.”
At the time, the trend in the Arab and broader Islamic world seemed to be moving in the direction of secularization, Arab nationalism, and leftism. The conventional wisdom maintained that these forces would bring in the extinction of militant Islam.
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According to the corporate media and the global foreign policy “expert” class, the jihadis and their ideological allies were expected to fade into the background of the Muslim world, never to be heard from again.
Mr Lewis, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 101, challenged this conventional thinking. A true Middle Eastern studies savant, he warned that militant Islam was not fading into the background, but becoming a serious political force even within societies that were completely dedicated to Soviet-backed leftist and Arab nationalist movements.
Three years later, the world witnessed an Islamic revolution that brought the mullahs into power in Iran. A handful of years after that, the black flag of Al Qaeda emerged under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. The years in between were rife with jihadism through Palestinian and additional terrorist movements.
Bernard Lewis was proven correct. If only the world had heeded his warning.
I need not explain the post 9/11 years, as most of this audience probably remembers them quite well.
Today, in 2023, the once-feared Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorist groups of the post 9/11 era haven’t made much of a splash in quite some time. Tehran hasn’t made a big move in a while, either.
When Hamas jihadists attacked southern Israel on October 7, much of the world was shocked by the horrors of what happened. It seemed that many of us were once again under the impression that the jihadis had faded into obscurity.
Surely, many more have been appalled and horrified by the global, seemingly millions strong protests in the United States and Europe *in support* of Hamas and the Palestinian terrorist movement.
Did the civilized world once more fall asleep at the wheel while the forces of militant Islam prepared for another global campaign of terror?
Has Hamas sparked a new wave of global jihad?
It sure seems that the malignant force that is radical Islam is back on the front pages. However, this time, unlike in Lewis’s day, we are no longer facing a force concentrated in the Middle East. If radical Islam has indeed returned, this time, it will touch every corner of the globe.