The Muslim world is in the midst of a massive realignment that means more conflict is coming, according to one of the world’s top experts on political Islam. “I think there will be more conflict before there is some semblance of a convergence,” says Dr. Kamran Bokhari, a Senior Analyst with the intelligence firm Geopolitical Futures. “We’re looking at fragmentation. We’re probably in the early stages of that fragmentation.”
Dr. Bokhari shares his thoughts in an exclusive interview with RiskHedge.
“In many ways what we’re seeing right now in the emergence of ISIS, the so-called Arab Spring…if you look at that, to me it seems like it’s the unfinished business of World War I and the aftermath,” explains Dr. Bokhari. “Somehow European powers were able to come to an agreement that sort of patched up this part of the world…but they kept it together with their cracks and fault lines and I think those fault lines are now coming apart at the seams.”
But, trying to compare what’s happening in the Muslim world today with the path of Western Civilization – a popular viewpoint - isn’t a good analogy.
“If we are to look at the trajectory of Europe and what happened to Christendom – so they go from Renaissance to Reformation to Enlightenment – that path is unique to Europe,” says Dr. Bokhari. “Every civilization will undergo modernity, but based on their starting point.”
Dr. Bokhari, the author of Political Islam in the Age of Democratization says predicting what’s going to happen to Islamic movements popular today is very difficult.
“Even ISIS doesn’t know where it will be five years from now. Will it still have the same sort of ideas or will it evolve? Political learning happens to even the most radical of actors. To me, I think we are looking at a long game. We are looking at a game that is multi-generational. And, I think that no one knows - the actors themselves don’t know - where they’re going.”
Watch the full interview above.