YOUTH SQUANDERED FOR A MOVEMENT FAST LOSING FRIENDS
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”.