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Sectarianism

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 9)

[Zainab al-Khawaja. Image from wikimedia.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  Why is Saudi Arabia using oil as a weapon? Michael Stephens argues that Saudi Arabia’s decision to lower the price of oil is motivated by its efforts to see Iran’s profits affected.  UK to establish £15m permanent Mid East military Bahraini authorities agree to host the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 19)

[The Holy Mosque in Mecca. Image from commons.wikimedia.org]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls for attacks on Saudi Arabia in his most recent speech. £41k a month and 2% on top: Blair's deal with Saudis leads to questions over former PM's lucrative contract John Stevens writes on a secret contract ...

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New Texts Out Now: Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab, The Shi‘ites of Lebanon: Modernism, Communism, and Hizbullah’s Islamists

[Cover of Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab,

Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab, The Shi‘ites of Lebanon: Modernism, Communism, and Hizbullah’s Islamists. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab (RJA & MA): There were several reasons for writing the book. In the last two decades we had read several books on Shi`i Islamist movements, particularly Hizbullah, which presented secular ideologies and Communism simply as those forces and ideas that the Islamists rejected. None of the studies accounted for the way in which Shi`i Islamists in Lebanon engaged with Communism, as well as with secular frameworks and practices, ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 28)

[Saudi king receives Qatari emir in Jeddah. Image from Al Arabiya News.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International   UK police asked to investigate alleged Bahraini hacking of exiles’ computers Privacy International asks the National Cyber Crime Unit to investigate allegations that the computers and mobile phones of Bahraini activists living in the United Kingdom “are under illegal surveillance.” Qatar Emir ...

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Press Release: Saudi Death Sentence against Shia Leader Is Politically Motivated

[Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Image from www.abna.ir]

[The following press release was issued by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an NGO in the Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, on 15 October 2014.] IHRC strongly condemns today's decision by a court in Saudi Arabia to impose the death penalty against shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Shaykh al-Nimr is a leading Shia scholar who was arrested for his outspoken criticism of the Saudi monarchy and his calls for equality and reform on trumped up charges of apostasy and terrorism. He has been severely tortured in detention. Shaykh al-Nimr was detained in 2012 following a police pursuit in the Eastern Province of Qatif district, ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 23)

[Saudi troops in Jizan during the 2009 assault on Sa 'da, Yemen. Image by Takahara Osaka/Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Q&A: What's behind MB leaders leaving Qatar? Ismaeel Naar argues that a shift in Qatar’s foreign policy, in order to end the rift within the GCC states, is behind the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to leave Doha. Qataris give ground in Gulf spat Ian Black maintains that Doha ...

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On Dead and Living Characters

[Image: Artwork by Mohammed al-Shammarey]

Maha George is a young Iraqi Christian woman from Baghdad in her early twenties. I came to know Maha and her family quite well three and a half years ago. She was studying medicine in Baghdad at the time, but had no plans for staying in Iraq. She, like so many, no longer believed that Iraq was her country and planned on immigrating as soon as she finished her studies. The recent events in Mosul and the catastrophic fate of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (Christians, Yazidis, Shabak, and others) have confirmed all of Maha’s fears about the fate of her co-religionists in Iraq. She and her family had already experienced similar dynamics in Baghdad in the past decade: ...

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Islamic State: Back in Business

[Logo of Islamic State. Image via Wikimedia Commons]

[The following article was originally published by Peter Harling in Le Monde Diplomatique, and subsequently republished by the International Crisis Group (ICG).] Emerging in an increasingly chaotic Middle East, IS is profiting from the region’s growing sectarianism, political vacuum and the ambivalence of the West. The so-called Islamic State (IS) — the jihadist movement also known as ISIL or ISIS and by the derogatory acronym Da’ish in Arabic — now controls much of northeast Syria and northwest Iraq (1). In a region beset with so much confusion, it appears uniquely determined and self-assured. Despite its name, it is in no sense a new state, since it rejects the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 19)

[Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian President Al-Sisi. Image from TBT News Desk.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com  by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations State Department Taking Passports Away from Yemeni-Americans The Middle East Research and Information Project asks staff attorneys at the National Security and Civil Rights Program about the US embassy’s confiscation of dozens of Yemeni-Americans’ passports in Sanaa.  UK ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 5)

[Saudi Arabia has deployed Pakistani and Egyptian troops to defend its borders amid fears of attacks from ISIS. Image from Omar Chatriwala/Wikimedia.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent David Kirkpatrick argues that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have lined up with Israel in its attack on Gaza. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in daily contact over Gaza David Hearst exposes the close cooperation ...

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العراق: خطاب التقسيم والأقلمة

[خارطة العراق عام ١٩٢٩ على سجادة. المصدر: أرشيف الكاتب]

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عاد خطاب التقسيم و“الأقلمة“ إلى الواجهة مع تدهور الوضع في العراق و“تمدّد“ الدولة الإسلامية وسيطرتها على الموصل وأجزاء مهمّة من البلاد، حتى أصبحت تشكل خطراً حقيقيّاً يهدد وجود الدولة العراقية. فصرنا نسمعه يتداول في التقارير الإخبارية وتعليقات ”الخبراء“ والمراقبين ونقرأه في تعليقات عدد من العراقيين. ولا شك أنّ الإشارات والتصريحات القادمة من القيادات الكردية بخصوص إعلان وشيك عن استقلال كردستان العراق تضيف زخماً إلى خطاب التقسيم والأقلمة في ما تبقّي من العراق. إن الهدف من هذه المقالة السريعة هو التركيز على خطاب التقسيم والأقلمة وليس التعرّض إلى موضوع كردستان الشائك. لكن لا بد أن نسجّل أن من حق أكراد العراق تقرير مصيرهم ومستقبلهم واختيار شكل وهوية الدولة التي يريدون العيش ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)

[The Bahraini justice ministry has asked a court to suspend the activities of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country's main opposition bloc. Al Jazeera English/Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment David Hearst analyzes the Saudi support for the attack on Gaza, and argues that the Saudi-Israeli alliance is “forged in blood, Palestinian blood.” Egypt says Qatar, Turkey and Hamas hurt Gaza ceasefire bid The Egyptian foreign minister accuses Qatar, ...

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Between Ballots and Boycotts: Bahrain’s Political and Electoral Systems Assessed

[The following is an overview of last week’s parliamentary elections in Bahrain that Ala’a Shehabi wrote for Bahrain Watch on 26 November 2014.]  On Saturday 22 November, Bahrain held parliamentary elections. Bahrain Watch looks at the significance of these elections in relation to the political system as a whole and evaluates the election using basic principles from the IDEA’s Book on International Electoral Standards. We find critical breaches of international electoral standards, in ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lina Khatib, Dina Matar, and Atef Alshaer, The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication

Lina Khatib, Dina Matar, and Atef Alshaer, The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication. London: Hurst UK and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Lina Khatib, Dina Matar, and Atef Alshaer (LK/DM/AA): The idea for the book was born out of an intellectual as well as methodological interest in the relationship between politics and communication in non-Western contexts, and particularly in relation to Islamist movements and non-state actors. When ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 4)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Regional and International Relations  Qatar and the UK stand together in the fight against terrorism The Qatari prime minister writes an article on ...

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هل يمكن إنقاذ العراق؟

صارع صانعو السياسة والصحفيون والخبراء كي يفهموا احتلال تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام للموصل في العاشر من حزيران\يونيو ٢٠١٤، واندفاع المجموعة جنوباً نحو بغداد وانهيار الجيش العراقي أمام تقدمها. إن الطريقة التي فُهمتْ بها هذه الأزمة المتسارعة ستحدد استجابة القادة في العراق، والشرق الأوسط، وفي النظام الدولي. وهي لن تصوغ الرد العسكري الأولي على تنظيم الدولة فحسب، بل أيضاً، وبصورة أكثر أهمية، سياسات على المدى الطويل تهدف إلى معالجة الأسباب الكامنة لنشوء التنظيم واحتلاله لأراض في كلّ من العراق ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 30)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.comby Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Saudi Arabia confirms role in strikes against Islamic State in Syria Saudi Arabia announces that the its air force ...

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Breaking: Yemeni Political Alliances Shift as Houthis Capture Sanaa

On 21 September 2014, the Houthi movement militarily won control of the Yemeni state. This was quickly followed by a Peace and National Partnership Agreement, signed by most significant political players, which will have serious implications for the structure of national politics going forward. I interviewed John Warner, Co-Editor of Jadaliyya's Arabian Peninsula Page. He analyses the local and regional dynamics that led to these important political developments and their future implications. This ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 16)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations The CIA's Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories with Agency Before Publication The Intercept published email ...

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An Excerpt from Sinan Antoon's "Ave Maria"

[The events of Ave Maria take place in a single day. Two characters from an Iraqi Christian family who are drawn together by the situation in the country under the same roof in Baghdad narrate these events. Youssef is an elderly man in his seventies. He refuses to emigrate and leave the house he himself built and where he has lived for half a century. He still clings to hope and memories of a happier past. Maha is a young woman whose life has been torn apart by sectarian violence. Her family is displaced ...

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It Might Be Too Late To Save Iraq's Christians

It Might Be Too Late To Save Iraq's Christians, Says Author Author of a Booker-nominated novel on the plight of Christians in Iraq, Sinan Antoon says the forced eviction of Mosul’s Christians "was coming" for many years. On his Facebook page at the beginning of the week, novelist and professor Sinan Antoon posted a video of an elderly Christian woman who has been recently forced to leave her house in Mosul by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for having declined to convert to Islam. In ...

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مدن بلا أهل: عن خراب الموصل وبغداد وحواضر أخرى

تذكرني مقولات من قبيل "إن هذه الجماعة غريبة على الموصل وستؤدي أفعالها إلى استثارة أهل الموصل ضدها"، بمقولات سبقتها زمنياً من قبيل "إن السوريين ليسوا كالعراقيين ولن يدخلوا حرباً طائفية"، وقبلها "إن المجتمع العراقي ليس كاللبناني والطائفية غريبة عليه" ، وهلم جرا... هذه المقولات تفترض أن للمجتمعات ملامح ثابتة ومحددة لا تتغير، وأن الجماعة هي " كيان" أزلي يمتلك "جوهراً" نفسياً ثابتاً، وهي تصورات بالاضافة إلى لا علميتها وتبسيطيتها، تمثل وعاء للكثير من المواقف ...

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عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها

يخبرني أحد المسؤولين الأمريكيين الذين انخرطوا في الجدل الأمريكي الرسمي الذي تلا سقوط نظام صدام، أن مسألة اختيار "ممثلين" للشعب العراقي كانت إحدى نقاط الاختلاف الرئيسية، وأنه كان ضمن مجموعة رفضت التركيز حصراً على التصنيف الهوياتي في انتقاء أعضاء مجلس الحكم الانتقالي، وهو أول مؤسسة حكم عراقية تأسست بعد الاحتلال. يقر محدثي أن مجموعته خسرت النقاش ويقر بأن الطريقة التي تم تشكيل المجلس فيها أسست لما تلاها من إذكاء للنوازع الإثنية والطائفية. يقول إنه كان بالإمكان تجنب ذلك بدل الاستسلام للسردية البسيطة ...

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نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"

ليست "نونا" كسابقاتها، لاتشبه "نون" النسوة مثلا، ولا النون في اية كلمة عربية، "نون" اخرى مختلفة لم يفكر بها مخترع الهجاء العربي، بالضبط لم يفكر بان تكون لها وظيفة اخرى غير ما شاع منها في كلام العرب ومن نطق بلغتهم، ولا "عنترة العبسي"، الشاعر الجاهلي الاسود، فكر باخرى واخرى عندما انشد نونيته " ياطائر البان قد هيجت أشجاني"، وحتما لم تكن حاضرة في مطالع سور القران، كتاب الله الذي يحارب الجميع، الان ومن قبل، تحت رايته، ويدعون نصرته كانت له نونه الباهرة"نون ...

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