The Arab Awakening (also known as the Arab Spring) caught the Western world, and even most experts, by surprise. A fuller understanding of how the peoples of the Middle East perceive their history and their relationship with the Western world—from their own perspective and not a Western analysis of that perspective—is a sine qua non to understanding what happened and how to begin to formulate policies and actions to deal with the new reality. The Islamic State has become the champion of disaffected Sunni Muslim youth building on those perceptions, and the West underestimates it at its peril.
Patrick N. Theros; Facing Reality in the Middle East: Understanding Why the Islamic State Is Winning and What to Do about It. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 December 2015; 26 (4): 69–88. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-3425189
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