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Archive for the tag “religion”

The Middle East’s New Map

The imminent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, is part of an on-going process of security cooperation going back many years. While that robs the event of some drama, it also increases its significance. It means that the process of ending the era of Arab-Israeli confrontation will continue, culminating perhaps in a political upheaval in Iran. That is the road that the Middle East may now be on.

Read Here | The National Interest

The Surprise Religious Group That Could Decide Trump’s Fate

In 2016, Mormons rejected Donald Trump in numbers unheard of for a Republican nominee — viewing the thrice-married, immigrant-bashing Republican as an affront to their values. In 2020, the president is going all-out to change their minds — a little-noticed effort that could make or break him in Arizona and Nevada, home to more than a half-million Latter-day Saints combined. Joe Biden’s campaign, sensing an unlikely opening for a Democrat, is also targeting Mormons in the pair of Western swing states.

Read Here – Politico

Power-Hungry Turkey May Push The Eastern Mediterranean Into An Armed Conflict

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has extended this belligerent approach to the Mediterranean, sending soldiers to war-torn Libya and tipping the scales in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood-influenced Government of National Accord (GNA), which is fighting the Egypt and UAE-backed Libyan National Army.

Read Here | The National Interest

Pakistan’s Spat With Saudi A Result Of Flawed Foreign Policy

The recent diplomatic spat between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia provides a glimpse of how mixing religious beliefs and historic relations can prove costly for nations that are either incapable of devising a balanced foreign policy or are dependent on global powers, and instead of having a free and dynamic foreign policy prefers to be dictated.

Read Here – Asia Times

The Pandemic Tips The Balance Between Mosque And State

Modern Arab societies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia have long struggled to reconcile the claims of state and religion. For some autocrats in the Middle East, religion offers a source of legitimacy. But religious authority also competes with state authority and can give courage and structure to opposition movements in these states. COVID-19 has highlighted this conflict by momentarily concentrating state power over religious institutions in the name of public health.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Why Gulf States Are Backtracking On India

The Modi government’s active diplomatic outreach to the Gulf states and the increasing acknowledgment of India’s growing economic opportunities had, until recently, shielded India from official criticism over the discriminatory nature of India’s new citizenship law, as well as mounting reports of anti-Muslim violence following Modi’s reelection in May 2019.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

The Coronavirus Threatens Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions

Despite the obvious public health benefits of suspending the umrah and hajj, Saudi Arabia will pay a heavy cost for its prudence. Pilgrims bring in billions of dollars to the country every year, so the Saudi economy will suffer as long as the crisis lasts. Another loss is less quantifiable, but just as significant: pilgrimage remains one of the kingdom’s most important soft-power instruments after two decades during which its public image has deteriorated.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

With Their Patron In Coronavirus Peril, Where Do Iran’s Proxy Groups Go From Here?

As Iran struggles to end its troubles at home, its proxies and allies in the Middle East have sought to deal with this health crisis in their own way. In some cases, this has led to decisive action, and in others, it has meant undermining any attempt to “flatten the curve”, as slowing the virus’s spread has become known in popular parlance.

Read Here – The National

Is This General Bringing China’s Xinjiang Model To India?

As the most powerful Indian military boss in decades — and potentially ever — Gen. Bipin Rawat’s words carry weight. So when India’s chief of defense staff (CDS) spoke about “deradicalization camps” for Kashmiris at an event in New Delhi, it alarmed not just Kashmiris who have been under a siege since India stripped the conflict-ridden state of its statehood, but also ex-army men and human rights activists across the country.

Read Here – Ozy

Is Containment The Correct Strategy For The Bipolar Middle East

Trump has shown great restraint in the Middle East. He did not fire back after the September attacks on Saudi oil facilities. He has given measured, proportional responses, similar to Reagan’s restraint when Iran took out an American warship in 1988. And despite a publicly confrontational posture, he has minimised the risk of escalation.

Read Here – The National Interest

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