In actuality, the topic has always been relevant, but it always takes something major to wake up the American public.
For the great unwashed, and for those media talking heads who nearly lost their own heads this past week at the hands of these alleged democracy-loving demonstrators, let's do a quick refresher on just what exactly is the Islamic "caliphate", and why we all should be concerned about it.
A very long story begins in the first half of the 7th century A.D. with the birth of Islam under it's founder, Muhammad, a man believed by followers of that faith to be the greatest and final messenger of God. Muhammad first spread this new faith by peaceful preaching and teaching, but he and his followers eventually turned to violent and forcible means.
In the aftermath of Muhammad's death in 632, physical and spiritual battles arose for control of Islam by two groups who we continue that struggle today, 1,500 years later - the Sunni and the Shiites. The Sunni were larger and stronger, and overall Islamic power was centralized under a leader who was known as the 'Caliph', the successor to Muhammad. The lands and peoples over which the Caliph held control became known as the Islamic Caliphate.
For centuries this Caliphate spread by conquest known as 'Jihad' throughout the lands of the Middle East, across northern Africa, and into both Spain and eastern Europe. By the end of the 17th century, just before the emergence of America as a nation and culture, the Caliphate controlled an area as large as the old Roman Empire.
The end finally began to come for the Islamic Caliphate on the eve of the American birth when, in 1774, it surrendered large portions of control to the emerging Russian nation. Then the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the Caliphate over it's final four centuries, went into World War I on the side of the Axis powers, the losing side.
In the aftermath of defeat in World War I, secular power took charge in Turkey, and the Caliphate was formally abolished. Ever since that time, various religious and military leaders have vowed to return the Caliphate to power, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. That has been and remains the goal of the worldwide movement known to many today as "radical Islam", to take control first of the Middle East, and then begin to spread the Caliphate around the region, to neighboring nations, and eventually around the entire world.
The Muslim Brotherhood is at the very core of the troubles in the Middle East today. The Brotherhood has for decades been sparking, fomenting, and supporting uprisings through it's creations such as al Qaeda and Hamas among dozens of others. Their stated goals are: the reestablishment of the Caliphate, the reunification of their nation (the Ummah), the institution of strict Islamic religious law (Shariah), and the spread of the Caliphate around the world.
They are behind the uprisings that have taken place recently or are currently taking place across the Arabic world from Egypt to Jordan, from Tunisia to Syria, from Libya to Lebanon. While these alleged "popular uprisings" for "democratic reforms" topple various types of secular institutional governments, make no mistake about what the new replacement governments will become. They will become Islamic theocracies, either outright or by proxy control.
As the Muslim Brotherhood exercises and expands it's control by whipping up tens of thousands at the grass-roots level to violently demonstrate and forcibly coerce change, the results will not be anything like American or even European democracy. What we are seeing in Egypt and across the Middle East, and will continue to see there, in Africa, and will see at some point in every nation of the world during this century, are the birth pains of the new Caliphate.
Millions of Americans will be glued to their television sets for hours this weekend to watch a football game. They will gorge on tons of food and snack treats, scarf down alcoholic and carbonated beverages by the truck load, and gamble away hard-earned money on pools and bets. Meanwhile, a much bigger, deadlier, and far more important game will be playing out on the other side of the world.
Americans who continue to consider a few weeks, months, or even a couple years of largely quiet times in the struggle against radical Islam as anything other than a lull in the storm are kidding themselves. More than that, they are passively ignoring the struggle that will be one of the most vital across their world as they age. It is the struggle that will define the world in which their children and grandchildren live out this century. It is one that will be forced upon them by the Caliphate now in the struggles of it's own rebirth.