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Dr. Dov S. Zakheim is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton where he is a leader in the firm’s global defense business, working with U.S. Combatant Commanders and allied[…]

Zakheim discusses Islamic fundamentalism in the context of the Jewish and Christian reformations.

Dov Zakheim: You know, there have been these urges, these bursts of Islamic fundamentalism before.  The great scholar . . .  had to flee Morocco because at the time, the . . .  I forget the ruling family then.  You know, it was a surge of Islamic fundamentalism, and so a lot of the Jews who lived in Spain and in Morocco had to clear out.  It was in the 12th century.  You get this.  You get these bursts.  The real question is, “What does Islam do about itself?”  Outsiders can’t . . .  The interesting thing about Judaism and Christianity is we’ve both had reformations of one sort or another.  And clearly if there hadn’t been Martin Luther, I doubt that Catholic Church would be where it is today.  And even as an orthodox Jew, I would say if it hadn’t been for reformed Judaism, I don’t think we would be where we are today. That hasn’t happened in Islam.  I mean Shiaism is not a reform of Sunnism or vice versa.  So you don’t have that.  You have some moderate Islam approaches, the . . .  imam and so on; but that’s different.  That’s geographically centered.  It’s not a fundamental questioning of, “Hey, maybe we need to look at the world differently.”  Because that will affect Islam.  They’ve gotta do it themselves. And the biggest challenge for them is to get it done, and the biggest challenge for us is to hold out until they get it done.

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