ABSTRACT

Much has been written in the West about the possible threat Islamist movements pose to Western interests. 1 Some of these movements have been associated with acts of violence: attacking buildings in New York; car-bombing Western embassies and troops in Arab countries; taking foreign hostages in Beirut; and assassinating leaders friendly to the West, such as Sadat. Associating Islamism with violence has led some Western observers to ask where the roots of this apparent rage lie; why movements adopt extremist methods; and what, if anything, the West can do to stem Islamist militancy. 2