EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The continuing radicalization of Islam, which presents a fundamental security challenge for the western world, gives new dimension to the term ”frontier state.” Greece and Israel have a common strategic role under this label as they are both willing and able to safeguard western interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, a region with an upgraded geostrategic importance. In upgrading the conventional role of the “frontier state,” Greece and Israel can maximize security for the region.
The radicalization of Islam: An ongoing process
Many analysts, in their eagerness to trace the origins of the radicalization of Islam, look to the rise of the theocratic Shiite regime in Iran in 1979 as the starting point. Others focus on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, or the predominantly Muslim region of Bosnia Herzegovina during the Yugoslav civil war. Still others who are more theoretically inclined go back to the first decades of the 20th century to examine the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, a blended creed that accommodates both a profound anti-colonial stance and a pronounced Salafism. Some go back to the 18th century’s austere enactments of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, or even further back to the reactionary utterances of Ibn Taymiyyah in the second half of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th.
None of these approaches is wrong, but they all disregard a basic feature of Islam that has accompanied it since its early days.