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المشكلة في العرب قبل أن تكون في إيران

هناك حالة كبيرة من التذمر العربي من إيران، وخصوصا في الخليج العربي، وهو تذمر تختلط فيه معطيات السياسة والمصالح الجيوستراتيجيّة مع الاعتبارات المذهبية والطائفية، ففي الغالب يُنظر إلى إيران باعتبارها دولة شيعية معنية بنشر المذهب الشيعي في مختلف أرجاء العالم أولًا وقبل وكل شيء. ورغم أنه لا يمكن إنكار هذا البعد في السياسة الإيرانية، إلا […]

Islam, Republicans & the Far Right

Islam, Republicans & the Far Right

    We are trapped. Once again, we find ourselves wedged between the hammer of terrorism and the anvil of the European far right and of Republican neocons across the Atlantic. Every war has its mongers who profit from its sorrows, rubble and spilt blood. So too does terrorism. Along with its victims and perpetrators, […]

Erdogan, Sisi & Western Hypocrisy

Erdogan, Sisi & Western Hypocrisy

  A funereal atmosphere descended over western capitals with the announcement of Turkey’s parliamentary elections’ results, widely described in European and American media as a “shock” and a “black day for Turkey.” The picture painted appeared very bleak, as a stream of reports, editorials and op-eds by opposition figures warned of a “return to autocracy and despotism” […]

Religion is not to blame

Religion is not to blame

  If I got a penny for every time I was told that religion is the cause of all trouble, I’d be a rich woman by now. If only we had John Lennon’s religionless world, there would be no war, or conflict and everyone would love their neighbour. If only the theologians, clergymen, mullahs and […]

Illiberal Liberalism

Illiberal Liberalism

We often boast of the uniqueness of our system. We are not a totalitarian society that crushes the individual out of existence and tramples over his/her rights and freedoms. Ours is not a traditional society that suffocates its members with the authority of the tribe, its dated norms, rigid customs and smug chieftains. Nor are […]

What gives legitimacy to ISIL's rhetoric?

What gives legitimacy to ISIL’s rhetoric?

  Since the map of the Middle East was drawn by the Sykes-Picot Agreement in the aftermath of World War I and the retreat of the Ottoman Turks in favour of the British and French, the lines demarcating the boundaries between states in the Arab region have never been successfully challenged, even in the heyday […]

Dennis Ross's Disastrous Recipe for the Middle East

Dennis Ross’s Disastrous Recipe for the Middle East

  A collective sigh of relief was almost audible across Washington and other western capitals when Sisi accomplished the mission and successfully staged his blood-drenched military coup. They could all go back to business as usual with the Arabs. No need for the newly devised strategy of containment. No need to sing the praises of […]

Terrorism & the Crisis of Sunni Islam

Terrorism & the Crisis of Sunni Islam

    Sunni Islam is in turmoil. Over the last two decades, it has been in the grip of ferment and fragmentation unprecedented in its long history. After the wave of radicalisation that had swept across Shiism following the Iranian revolution of 1979, it was the turn of Sunni Islam, which represents around 80% of […]

Misconceptions of political Islam

Misconceptions of political Islam

As soon as the Tunisian elections results were announced with Nidaa Tounes overtaking Ennahdha party, celebrations of the “Islamists’” defeat at the hands of the “secularists” got underway across the media in France and many other western capitals. The historical context of a country in the aftermath of a revolution, its socio-political circumstances and complex […]

A Women's Revolution

A Women’s Revolution

Saida Sadouni does not conform to the typical image of an Arab revolutionary. But this 77-year-old camped out in the bitter Tunisian cold for more than two weeks in front of the prime minister’s headquarters, leading the historic Kasbah picket that succeeded in forcing Mohamed Ghannouchi’s interim government out of office. “I have resisted French […]