Archived Blog Post: September 3, 2002

The Extremists Are Losing - "As they lose political appeal, revolutionary movements often turn more violent. The French scholar Gilles Kepel, who documents the failure of political Islam in his excellent book 'Jihad,' makes a comparison to communism. It was in the 1960s, after communism had lost any possible appeal to ordinary people -- after the revelations about Stalin's brutality, after the invasion of Hungary, as its economic model was decaying -- that communist radicals turned to terror. They became members of the Red Brigades, the Stern Gang, the Naxalites, the Shining Path. Having given up on winning the hearts of people, they hoped that violence would intimidate people into fearing them. That is where radical political Islam is today."