YOUTH SQUAN­DERED FOR A MOVE­MENT FAST LOS­ING FRIENDS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

TER­ROR­IST Ra­ban Alou prob­a­bly thought he was a hero for flipping the ISIS one-fin­gered salute at Jus­tice Peter John­son as he was sen­tenced for his role in the mur­der of po­lice ac­coun­tant Cur­tis Cheng.

But, ac­cord­ing to one of the world’s pre-em­i­nent schol­ars of Is­lamism, the ter­ror­ist move­ment, for which Alou, 20, has sac­ri­ficed 44 years of freedom, is on the way out. Daniel Pipes, pres­i­dent of the Mid­dle East Fo­rum, was warn­ing about the threat of mil­i­tant Is­lam for years be­fore the Septem­ber 11, 2001, ter­ror­ist at­tacks, say­ing that “Is­lamism”, a mil­i­tant in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lam in­tent on es­tab­lish­ing a Mus­lim caliphate that rules the world, is as lethal as were com­mu­nism and fas­cism.

But on his 14th visit to Aus­tralia, Pipes told a lunch for the Aus­tralia/Is­rael and Jewish Af­fairs Coun­cil last week of his the­ory that “the Is­lamist surge peaked in 2012 and is now in de­cline”.

First, the Is­lamist move­ment is frac­tured: Sunni against Shia, Salafi vs. Wah­habi, repub­li­cans vs. monar­chists.

Sec­ond, Is­lamism is un­pop­u­lar. “Mus­lims who have ex­pe­ri­enced Is­lamist rule don’t like it.” In Iran, the mosques are empty and 85 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion is alien­ated from the regime.

Third, the vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism of groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda “are caus­ing Mus­lims to say, ‘this is not the Is­lam I want; this is scary’.”

Still, even if Is­lamism is on a down­ward slope, that doesn’t mean it won’t have “all sorts of gaudy suc­cesses on the way”.

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