El 1% de fanáticos islámicos

El dominio que ejerce el Islam conservador en Medio Oriente refleja una realidad fundamental de la sociedad musulmana. Pero este conservadurismo no debe confundirse con el radicalismo violento, como, desafortunadamente, lo ha hecho Estados Unidos. Si bien el conservadurismo puede reclamar que tiene mayoría en el "barrio árabe" (y el barrio persa), eso no significa que la violencia y el terrorismo inevitablemente se impondrán en la región.

Un estudio reciente publicado en Damasco por el Centro de Estudios Islámicos señaló que los conservadores conforman aproximadamente el 80% de la población de las sociedades islámicas del Medio Oriente. Los reformistas integran la mayor parte del 20% restante. Los radicales cuentan con el apoyo de no más del 1% de la población. A mi parecer, estas proporciones aproximadas se han mantenido estables durante los diez siglos de historia islámica, con ligeras variaciones.

Se ha establecido una terminología islámica para describir estas diferencias. Los radicales primero aparecieron como los "khawarij", un grupo fanático que data del primer siglo del Islam, que hizo uso de acusaciones de blasfemia y violencia para reprimir incluso pequeñas diferencias de opinión. Los conservadores actuales se conocen entre los académicos de la religión como "grupo literal" -aquéllos que se apegan a los textos islámicos al pie de la letra. Los reformistas, como se les conoce ahora, son el equivalente del "grupo intelectual".

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