Middle East Notes and Comment: Radicalism Four Years into the "Arab Spring"
December 15, 2014
For radicals, victory is much more obscure. Some proclaim victory in their martyrdom-seeking operations, embracing their own deaths as an ennobling triumph. Some seek reward in a constant battle against mortal enemies. More recently, some have claimed victory in the establishment of their caliphate, a collection of impoverished dusty cities ruled under the stern glare of religious police. What unifies their vision is an acceptance of the idea of deadly conflict stretching far into the future, fought by irregular forces arrayed against better-armed foes. It is a logic that rewards asymmetrical warfare and accepts heavy casualties. For the rest of the world, it is a daunting prospect.
This article was adapted from a new book I’ve edited, Religious Radicalism after the Arab Uprisings. More information about the book can be found here.