Subscribe to the New Statesman today and receive free gifts worth up to £62.
Noah Feldman, a contributing writer for the magazine, is a law professor at Harvard University and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. This essay is adapted from his book “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State,” which will be published later this month.
Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
Click for Author Information
Editors’ note : The original headline of Robert Kaplan’s article, chosen by the editors, generated some controversy and was subsequently changed to better reflect the argument of the text. Below, Kaplan responds to the criticism regarding the original headline:
Daniel Pipes describes Islamism as a modern ideology that owes more to European utopian political ideologies and "isms" than to the traditional Islamic religion. 
Gus Dur (or Abdurrahman Wahid), a partner of Madjid's in opposing Suharto, was a democrat and a pluralist who offered an alternative model of Islamist political activity. He modernized the traditional Indonesian Muslim organization, the Nahdatul Ulama (NU), in the areas of education and political theology. He contributed to the formation of "Civil Islam" in Indonesia, and was later elected as the first president of post-Suharto Indonesia. The most important legacy of Gus has been his commitment to reform, modernization and democracy. Wahid held the conviction that Indonesia's stability should be rooted in the principle of unity in diversity and open politics, leading to the success of democracy in a Muslim majority country. He once remarked, "I am for an Indonesian society, not just an Islamic one." What mattered, according to him, was not the question of whether there was scriptural compatibility between Islam and democracy, but whether Muslims have a political intent, ambition, and capacity for democracy. Current Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called Wahid a "father of multiculturalism and pluralism".