Author Archive:

Hakim Khatib

is a political scientist and analyst works as a lecturer for politics and culture of the Middle East, intercultural communication and journalism at Fulda University of Applied Sciences and Phillips University Marburg. Hakim is the editor-in-chief of the Mashreq Politics and Culture Journal (MPC Journal).

A baby's bottle lies on the blood-stained floor of the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh Province, on February 17, a day after a bomb killed at least 70 people, including children, at the shrine. Pakistan cracked down nationwide soon after the blast, claimed by the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' (ISIS). [Asif Hassan/AFP]

Religious Scholars Declare Suicide Attacks Forbidden in Islam

Religious scholars from all schools of thought on Saturday issued a fatwa (religious decree) that declared suicide attacks, armed insurgency against a state and use of force in the name of imposing Shariah as ‘Haram’ or forbidden in Islam.

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Syria Safe-Zones-Plan Takes Effect

RUSSIA, IRAN AND TURKEY have agreed to a memorandum establishing four safe zones across the north, central, and southern parts of Syria. This plan took effect on 05 May at 21:00 GMT. Consequently fighting has eased in parts of Syria as the Russian-led initiative to halt the country’s six-year war has come into force. Russia, backed by Iran and Turkey, unveiled the deal of setting up four “de-escalation zones” on 01 May. Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin said that there had been no bombing raids by Russian aviation in the four zones since 01 May.

New Cairo, Sept. 2015: President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) greets Sheik Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar; Egypt’s president is demanding the clergy tone down radical discourse on Islam (source: dpa)

Al-Azhar and Sisi’s Regime: Cooperation and Conflict

Tensions between Egypt’s religious leadership and its political leadership—represented by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Egypt’s President respectively—have reached a point where they can no longer be concealed. The underlying disagreement has become public, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has raised this issue in his public speeches, the most recent of which dealt with verbal divorce, to the point where Sisi told el-Tayeb, “you’ve exhausted me, honorable Imam.” The Council of Senior Scholars, which is headed by the Sheikh of al-Azhar, rejected Sisi’s call for divorce to be documented in order for it to be recognized….
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Fatemiyoun Brigade, an Afghan Shia militia, in Palmyra in Dec. 2016 (Photo- Tasnim)

Nexus Between Waning Regime’s Power and Influence of Militants In Syria

That the United States launched 59 missiles targeting an Assad military base in Syria after the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun remains a chance for eradicating militants’ sphere of influence across Syria. In other words, decreasing Assad’s power on the ground increases an onset for a serious political solution for the Syrian conflict.

Members of Syria's government military police stand guard as men who were evacuated from the eastern districts of Aleppo are prepared to begin military service. (Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)

Compulsory Military Conscription in Syria Drives Many Males into Exile

“Kill or be killed.” This is Bashar Assad’s bitter dichotomy. While the Assad regime has lost tens of thousands of soldiers, tens of thousands more have been forced to fight in the army alongside Assad’s foreign fighters and militias. Many others, however, choose to flee.

© Photo: Reuters

Russia Grants 9 Arab Countries Visa-Free Entry

The Russian government released on Monday a list of 18 countries whose citizens have been granted the right to enter far-east Russia without an official entry visa; this list includes nine Arab countries but not Egypt. The Arab countries granted this visa-free status are Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, according to a statement released by the Russian government and reports by state-run news outlet Russia Today,

Were Hebrews Ever Slaves in Ancient Egypt?

Were Hebrews Ever Slaves in Ancient Egypt?

Every Passover, Jews retell the story about the Hebrews’ flight from slavery in Egypt and their miraculous escape across the Red Sea, giving birth to the nation of Israel. The colorful story has also been retold by Hollywood time and again, shaping the modern generation’s understanding of the Israelite bondage in Egypt. But if ancient Egypt had slaves from the region known today as Israel, were they really “Israelites”? There is no direct evidence that people worshipping Yahweh sojourned in ancient Egypt, let alone during the time the Exodus is believed to have happened. There is indirect evidence that at…
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has introduced emergency laws following the deaths of 45 Coptic Christians in an Isis attack this weekend Getty

ISIS in the Heart of Egypt Isn’t Sisi’s Biggest Problem

British author Robert Fisk has criticized Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s declaration of a state of emergency even without returning to his government, as his predecessors Sadat and Mubarak have done, stressing that this state of emergency will last for at least a year, not three months as Al-Sisi claims. In his article published in the British newspaper The Independent, Fisk saw that the army and police in Egypt failed to keep ISIS organization inside Sinai. The organization is now in Cairo, Alexandria, and perhaps in all poor cities along the Nile Valley. Fisk predicted that we will see more…
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TURKEY-SYRIA-CONFLICT-KURDS

Syrian Children Remain World Leftovers

Six years into war in Syria have proven again and again that it is the worst man-made catastrophe in modern history. According to UN records, more than 400,000 people have died, more than one million injured, while over 10 million have been displaced, triggering a global refugee crisis in neighbouring countries and overseas. 

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