The appeal of radical Islam is beginning to wane. This trend is paradoxical because Islamists continue to enjoy considerable grassroots loyalty. However, after what people have experienced in countries where Islamists have come to power – notably in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran and the Taliban’s Afghanistan – it is no longer self-evident that sharia is the answer to all the problems of modernity.
This is the key to the backlash against the Islamists in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere. Islamists thrive in opposition and in chaos but fail miserably in government.