Analysis

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Reality Checks in the Middle East

A new pragmatic spirit is dawning in the Middle East.  Old outworn attitudes are beginning to crumble.  For example, when have officials from leading Arab states sat round a table with those from Israel – which many of them do not formally recognize as yet − to discuss how to alleviate a problem affecting the region?  Yet that is precisely what happened on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, when Israeli national security officials met their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in the White House to discuss a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the…
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Syria in the Rear-View Mirror: The Trouble with Optimism:

  It is a touching characteristic of the optimistic liberal soul that it perennially inclines to believe that bad situations cannot get worse. But of course they can and often do get worse. This would seem to make it hard to be an optimistic liberal for very long, but some people accomplish it for decades on end apparently without much effort. How do they do it?

radicalization

Radicalization: The Road to Terrorism – Op-Ed

Today, there is growing anger in all areas of daily life – between neighbors, in religious discourse and other aspects of personal and social relations. Young people have been expressing their strong opposition to certain ideologies through violence. In other words, we are faced with a global wave of violent radicalization.

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UK Peers Urge Pro-Iran, Pro-Palestinian Policies

A year ago, in May 2016, Britain’s House of Lords decided to establish a new International Relations Committee.  On 2 May 2017, after six months deliberation, the committee issued its second report: “The Middle East: Time for New Realism”.   It is, quite frankly, an astonishing document, imbued with unconcealed hostility towards, and distrust of, US President Donald Trump, with the anti-Brexit rhetoric of much of the British establishment, and with downright naïve recommendations, reflecting the consensus of the politically correct, concerning Saudi Arabia, the Iran nuclear deal, and Palestinian sovereignty.

Iran's Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, c.1820. (Photo: Getty)

Muslim Majority World Did Liberalise Indeed

I am quite used to people smirking into their sleeves when they hear that I’ve just written a book called The Islamic Enlightenment. The really helpful wags say they expect something along the lines of The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew, which was billed as a collection of all the memorable aphorisms of the former US vice-president, and contained only blank pages. So, the Islamic Enlightenment — good for a laugh. But we’re all familiar with the serious argument that lies behind the jests; that Islam has not been through an Enlightenment, a Reformation, or any of the other rites of…
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Jihadists (Picture: Getty Images)

Why Global Jihadism Remains Notorious

Global Jihadism, also known as Jihadist extremism, remains the most highlighted form of violent extremism today. It refers to actions justified by a particular interpretation of Islam, forming a worldwide violent ideological movement. The actors of global Jihadism can be organised individuals, groups, networks or organisations. Stories covering terrorist attacks committed by al-Qaeda and very recently ISIS militants in Europe and North America have swept Westerns and Eastern mainstream media since 1990s. Although it is unequivocal that most attacks – including some public executions of ‘spies’ or other enemies – were carried out in West Asia and North Africa, focus remains persistent…
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Misr Al Qadima, Cairo, Egypt - © Photo: Hakim Khatib/MPC Journal

Controversy of Islamist Politics on Other Belief Systems

Terrorist attacks have been randomly sweeping the world. While uncertainty around bloody conflicts in West Asia and Africa, sectarian politics in Arabia and Iran, integration issues in Europe and North America and lack of democracy in Muslim majority states have become the norms of modern politics, one fact remains certain: Sectarianism has been on the rise in Muslim majority countries. Perhaps there are detectable patterns along these sectarian lines that we can unfold. While the majority of Muslims have been unwillingly dragged into unpleasant discourses, often resulting in their discrimination and alienation based on religious affiliation, there are underlying patterns…
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