Christian Caryl, Islamist Déjà Vu: The Lessons of 1979

In 1979, Iranian student revolutionaries stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and marked the debut of a new political phenomenon known as “Islamism.” With the events this week in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya, including the tragic death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a growing political force from within the Islamic world has once again dramatically and violently demonstrated its capacity to shape global politics.

"Its worth remembering that, in 1979, few anticipated that Iran would set up a flourishing Islamic Republic," writes Christian Caryl. "No one should expect the Salafis in Libya and Tunisia to go away any time soon."

Photo: A protester near the US Embassy in Tunis, September 12, 2012 (Amine Landoulsi/Demotix/Corbis)

Christian Caryl, Islamist Déjà Vu: The Lessons of 1979

In 1979, Iranian student revolutionaries stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and marked the debut of a new political phenomenon known as “Islamism.” With the events this week in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya, including the tragic death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a growing political force from within the Islamic world has once again dramatically and violently demonstrated its capacity to shape global politics.

"Its worth remembering that, in 1979, few anticipated that Iran would set up a flourishing Islamic Republic," writes Christian Caryl. "No one should expect the Salafis in Libya and Tunisia to go away any time soon."

Photo: A protester near the US Embassy in Tunis, September 12, 2012 (Amine Landoulsi/Demotix/Corbis)

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