This is what Brewer's says: Rank and file: soldiers and non-commissioned officers as distinct from commissioned officers, hence the followers in a movement as distinct from its leaders. "Rank" refers to men in line abreast or side by side, "file" to men standing one behind the other."Rank and file" is an interesting phrase - I'm not sure where it comes from (perhaps military in origin?) from but basically is means "ordinary" / "low level" workers. Does this help?
Here is my attempt: "...and fueled rank-and-file islamism"."Comme si le Pakistan renouait avec ses vieux démons. Comme s'il rechutait dans l'atavisme des affrontements politiciens stériles qui avaient jadis conforté le militarisme au sommet de l'Etat et dopé l'islamisme à la base de la société."
Here's a suggestion, then: "rank and file", to me, has a militant ring which the French wording doesn't seem to justify. Would you talk about "rank-and-file Christianity"?Here is my attempt: "...and fueled rank-and-file islamism".
Comments and suggestions welcome!