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Juergensmeyer, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, means by "religious nationalism" what others call fundamentalism; and, as his title suggests, he sees similarities between the old Marxism-Leninism challenge to the Western order and this new one. In both cases, the confrontation is "global in its scope, binary in its opposition, occasionally violent, and essentially a difference of ideologies." Of the many religious nationalisms, the Islamic one stands out by virtue of its extent and the depth of its hold.

While Juergensmeyer holds that secular Westerners underestimate this threat to their way of life, 2 he also believes that "a grudging respect" might develop between the two sides over time. He then goes further and claims that "there may be some aspects of the religious nationalists' agenda that we cannot only live with but also admire." Key to our all getting along, he states is for secular Westerners to change our attitude and respect "at least some aspects of their positions."

In other words, Juergensmeyer first identifies the fundamentalists as the new enemy, then he goes on to propose at least a partial capitulation to them. In short, if fundamentalists present us with a new ideological battle, the academy is offering up the same old advice of appeasement.