Are the problems of the Islamist ideology something that is a sickness with a cure? Raheel Raza thinks so. She grew up in a pluralistic Islamic society in Pakistan. She believes that the trends of the last few decades can indeed be reversed. Is she right? I hope so, but I doubt it.
Seeds of Hope
If one looks at the Muslim population today in the Middle East and Western Europe, there is much room for concern. Things are not going in the right direction as far as radical ideology. The Holy War of ISIS inspires millions of young people and moves things in the wrong direction. The influx of non-refugees to Europe as if they were refugees is actually an invasion of radical Islamic ideology into the Western midst. It doesn’t matter if the non-refugees intend or don’t intend to take over Western Europe. That is what is going on.
60’s and 70’s in the Arab world
However, there is reason to believe that things could perhaps change. First off, we can look at the recent past. Just a few decades ago, Lebanon, Pakistan, and even Iran were basically Westernized countries that were on a clear path of non-radicalization. They were not necessarily fully democratic or even libera. However, they still were places that were not dominated by radical clergy. Then, the revolutions took place in each of their countries and changed everything.
The weakening of Nazism post WW II
In addition, the Nazi movement in Germany became a fringe group soon after World War II in Germany. They still exist today and need to be contained. However, they certainly do not dominate. What brought them down was the overwhelming victory by the Allied Forces. If we can defeat the Islamic threat in an overwhelming manner, and strengthen the forces of open-mindedness in radical Islamic countries like Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, and others, we may be able to see a reformed Islamic religion take root in the future decades. It’s a long-shot, but it’s worth a try.