Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boko Haram, the Arab 'Spring', and the radical Islamic Revival

This post has been moved. You can view it here.


  1. Thank you, Mark, for your insight and in-depth knowledge of the background to the social change we are seeing throughout the world. Hopefully in 2012 we will see more Christians speaking out and more Western leaders listening to people like yourself. It really isn't rocket science! May God bless and protect you and those you love in 2012.

  2. Great post. The recent recent destruction-by-arson of the L’Institut d’Egypte is another manifestation of this revival.

    I would point out another side to the Islamic revival, which is the failure of Arab/Iranian/Pakistani etc nationalism: by which I mean the quasi-fascist, quasi-socialist politics of Nasser et al to produce decent societies or politics. The only alternative anchored to any sources of social power largely collapsed, which provided an easier vacuum for the Islamic revival to surge into.

  3. Thanks Lorenzo. Yes, the Islamic revival's denial of the past is anti-history and leads it to have no interest in preserving history except for its own polemical purposes. Why preserve what you can just as easily re-invent?

    And yes, the Middle Eastern nationalist movements were established at a time when Islam was weaker, and the influence of secular 'modern' ideas stronger (i.e. in the early post-colonial period). This offers little hope for similar alternatives today, and is a particularly potent argument against the idea that Islam (and Islamic societies) will gradually evolve to become more moderate). However there is some reason to hope. We see in Iran today a deep loss of confidence in Islam among the young, which could be replicated across the Middle East if the Islamists gain power. There is nothing like experiencing 'Utopia' to spoil one's appetite for it. Yet this will take decades to work its way out - as it has in Iran.


Comments are moderated. Avoid profanities or foul language. Stay on topic. Avoid ad hominem attacks. Posts which violate these principles or are deemed offensive in any way will be deleted.