Remarkably, however, the official Iranian discourse has completely shifted away from calling for violence in cases of "abuse" of Muslim sanctities. Iran has not issued any death fatwas ever since calling for the killing of Rushdie in February 1989. Fatwas in general have not been emphasized in the past few years, marking a change in approach and a separation from militant groups and countries in the region.
Militant groups in Iran have apparently started to understand this and deem it a kind of retreat from the principle of revolutionary Islam in Iran and an inclination toward a secular approach.
The presence of a strong moderate movement in the Islamic world with attitudes very different from that of militant Islam has become increasingly apparent. The radical currents have waned in different regions of the Islamic world after their initial expansion during the Arab Spring events and the accompanying instability in the Middle East.
This opportunity calls for wise positions and smart moves on the part of Western countries, as any tension or shock in the Muslim world risks promoting the militants, offering them fertile ground in their communities and weakening moderate Islam.
The experiences of the past decades have shown that what some describe as the intrinsic hostility between the Western and Islamic civilizations can be managed and is not inevitable.
(Islam image via Shutterstock)