In the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs, Marc Lynch reviews Paul Berman’s The Flight of the Intellectuals, taking the opportunity to discuss reactions to non-violent Islamism:
Those, such as Berman, who see Islamism as flat and uniform claim that Islamists of all varieties — despite differences over the use of violence or the value of democratic participation — ultimately share a commitment to achieving an Islamic state. But this is misleading. There is a vast and important gap between the Salafi vision of enforced social uniformity and the moderate Islamist vision of a democratic state, with civil institutions and the rule of law, populated by devout Muslims. The gap is so great as to render meaningless the notion that all Islamists share a common strategic objective. Ramadan stands on the correct side of this gap, and by extension, he stands on the right side of the most important battle within Islamism today: he is a defender of pragmatism and flexibility, of participation in society, and of Muslims’ becoming full citizens within liberal societies.