Things have changed since the Berlin Wall fell. Some readers of this blog (assuming I have any) may not have even been born during the period of 1989-91 which saw the end of ideological bipolar world (p3).
What was the end of communism as a global power replaced with? With a new unipolar global order based on market capitalism and liberal democratic institutions and processes of government. There was also a strong growth of civil society operating relatively independent of market capitalism and processes of government.
Religion's situation has changed - ironically "its role has grown in significance". Global order could never really control the role of globalised religion and religious identity and culture, especially in the established religions which easily crossed national and political boundaries. At best, global order could try to regulate religion.
So what is global order anyway? "Global order" means more than just the international order of states. Order is
... a concrete state of affairs which is dominant, or rapidly becoming so, in space (the globe) and time (contemporary) in respect of human activity and the surrounding beliefs, values and ideas" (p3).
The collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the bipolar world has been accompanied by globalisation, often seen "overwhelmingly as an economic and technological matter". Religion has entered political and social consciousness largely due to
... the resurgence of a militant Islam and in particular its challenge to modern (Western) values and power.
So "Islamism" is seen as competing with global Western hegemony. (p1) Religion, especially Islam, has come to be seen as a threat to global order and particularly to Western dominance therein. The main threat seen as Islam. Secular political and economic ideology as a source of competing alternative world views has declined. (p4)
A rather complicated way of saying that Islam is the new communism. Perhaps we really are still living in a bipolar world after all. The human race is suffering from bipolar disorder.
JL Esposito & M Watson (eds), Religion and Global Order (2000) University of Wales Press Cardiff