Joshua Muravchik believes that the uprisings in Iran will mark the beginning of the end of radical, jihadist Islam:
Even if the Iranian regime succeeds in suppressing the protests and imposes the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by force of bullets, mass arrests and hired thugs, it will have forfeited its legitimacy, which has always rested on an element of consent as well as coercion. Most Iranians revered Ayatollah Khomeini, but when his successor, Ayatollah Khamenei, declared the election results settled, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets, deriding his anointed candidate with chants of “Death to the dictator!”“Even if they manage to hang on for a month or a couple of years, they’ve shed the blood of their people,” says Egyptian publisher and columnist Hisham Kassem. “It’s over.”
The downfall or discrediting of the regime in Tehran would deal a body blow to global Islamism which, despite its deep intellectual roots, first achieved real influence politically with the Iranian revolution of 1979. And it would also represent just the most recent — and most dramatic — in a string of setbacks for radical Islam. Election outcomes over the past two years have completely undone the momentum that Islamists had achieved with their strong showing at the polls in Egypt in 2005 and Palestine in 2006.
He recounts a whole list of recent jihadist political setbacks, including in Lebanon–where Hezbollah got trounced in a recent election–and Northern Africa and Indonesia.