Just in case anyone is still wondering about this. “Bin Laden and the Eternal Hydra of War,” by Raymond Ibrahim in Hudson New York (via RaymondIbrahim.com), May 3:
[…] The fact is, history is replete with examples of Islamist leaders dying only for the movements they started to continue growing in strength.
Consider the progress of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s largest and oldest Islamist organization. Founded in 1928 in Egypt by Tariq Ramadan’s grandfather, Hasan al-Banna, it originally boasted only six members. In the following decades, in part thanks to the radical writings of Sayyid Qutb””an al-Qaeda favorite””the Brotherhood, though constantly clashing with Egypt’s government, grew steadily.
As leaders, both Banna and Qutb were eventually targeted and killed by the Egyptian regime. Yet the Brotherhood continued to thrive underground. Then, to the world’s surprise, the partially-banned, constantly-suppressed Brotherhood managed to win 88 out of 454 seats in Egypt’s 2005 parliamentary elections””making it the largest opposition bloc in the government.
After two of its most prominent leaders were killed, and after thousands of its members have been harassed, jailed, or otherwise eliminated, today, with the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood is poised to take over Egypt.
Palestinian Hamas, itself an offshoot of the Brotherhood, furnishes another example. Founded in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Hamas has been labeled a terrorist organization by several governments, including the U.S., most notably for Hamas’s suicide operations against Israel. Yassin was eventually assassinated in March 2004.
The result? Far from fizzling away, Hamas, like the Brotherhood, went on to win a major landslide election in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, establishing it even more strongly than before.
Then of course there is the Ayatollah Khomeini””the original poster-boy of radical Islam. Overthrowing Iran’s secular government in 1979, Khomeini transformed Iran into a theocratic state “”precisely what all Islamists yearn to see for the rest of the world. From precipitating the American hostage crisis, to issuing a fatwa condemning a novelist to death, to taunting the U.S. “”which he dubbed “the Great Satan–”for a decade, Khomeini was the bane of the West.
Today, over twenty years after his death, not much has changed in Iran: Sharia law still governs; Sharia-endorsed enmity towards the West still thrives. The only real difference is that Iran’s nuclear aspirations are nearly fulfilled….