The Broken Crescent: The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism

The Broken Crescent: The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism

The Broken Crescent: The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism

The Broken Crescent: The "Threat" of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism

Synopsis

Militant Islamic fundamentalists blame the ills of their societies on the West and call for the overthrow of local governments and the resumption of Jihad against the "Infidels." Ambassador Hoveyda explores the historical and contemporary causes of the current wave of militant Islamic fundamentalism. Despite their terrorist attacks in the West, he also shows fundamentalists they are even more dangerous for Muslim countries that are desperately trying to catch up with the incipient global economy and alleviate their accumulated social and economic problems.

Excerpt

Since Khomeini's seizure of power in Iran in 1979, militant Islamic fundamentalism has been rising steadily in the Middle East. More and more, its proponents resort to violence on both the national and the international levels. Indeed, they consider terrorism an efficient and inexpensive instrument of warfare that allows them to strike at the “enemy” wherever found, at little human and material cost to the attacker.

Who is the enemy? At home: “corrupt” leaders who have strayed from Allah's “right path”; outside: the Western infidels accused of conspiring to eradicate Islam from the surface of the planet.

Americans, for their part, still remember the long ordeal during which their diplomats were kept as hostages for 444 days by Iranian radical students. They also recall the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983; the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988; the New York Trade Center blast in 1993; the killing of nineteen servicemen in Saudi Arabia in 1996…(to mention only a few occurrences). Knowing that the slogan “Death to America” covers walls in Islamic cities and that mobs trample the “Stars and Stripes” underfoot, Americans wonder whether Islamic fundamentalism constitutes a serious danger to them and to the West. in order to formulate an answer to this question, I shall try to explore in the following pages the origins, causes, modalities, and scope of

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