They’re against political Islam, the jihad, which seeks to institute the sharia. I have opted to move away from the term of ‘Islamism’ ages ago. What we are facing is nothing more than the followers of basic Islam 101, adhering to the fundamentals of Islam, or in other words, Islamic fundamentalism.
Russia, China & Israel against Islamism?
by Daniel Pipes
July 3, 2012
Two recent developments – Vladimir Putin’s recent trip to the Middle East and the Chinese government’s financing of an Israeli cargo railway – hint at a reshuffling of alliances in the region.
The Middle East’s most consequential divide is no longer the Arab/Israeli one but the Islamist/non-Islamist one, with Iran in one corner, Israel in the other, and other states somewhere between. It’s far from a linear alignment, with plenty of incongruities; the revolutionary Islamists in Tehran and the evolutionary ones in Ankara, for example, increasingly are at odds, while the Tehran-Damascus axis flourishes as never before.
The Russian and Chinese actions point to these alliances shaping the foreign policies of outside powers too. Whereas the European Union and the U.S. government are increasingly sympathetic to Islamism, in part as a way to tame their own Muslim populations, Moscow and Beijing have a history of open conflict with their Muslim populations and therefore adopt policies more hostile to Islamism in the Middle East.
Which brings us to the president of the Russian Federation. Pinhas Inbari notes at “After Putin’s visit: Are Israel and Russia inching closer together?” that his “decision to begin his tour in Israel, along with the large size of his delegation, indicated that Israel was the focus of the visit, while the PA and Jordan were of secondary importance.” That’s because, despite their major differences on Syria and Iran, the two governments “agree on another, no less relevant issue that dominates political discourse in the Middle East: the concern over the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood to power.”