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Archive for the tag “Sunni Islam”

The Great Shia-Sunni Divide

In addition to concerns about sectarian tensions, concerns about religious extremism in general also are widespread in the countries surveyed, with about two-thirds of all Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, half of all Muslims in Lebanon and roughly a quarter of all Muslims in Iran expressing worry about radical religious groups.

Read Here – Pew Research


Much Ado About Nothing

Many in the Arab world see the “growing ties” between the United States and Iran detrimental to the interests of the GCC states. In the changing political scenario, many analysts also fear an expansion in Iran’s ideological borders in a Sunni-dominated region.

Read Here – Arab News

Exasperated Allies

Middle East supporters of the Sunni-dominated rebel forces led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are exasperated with the hesitation of Western countries but are holding out in expectation that attacks will eventually occur.

Read Here – The Jerusalem Post

Lebanon: Middle East’s New Problem Child

It is not Bosnia at the turn of the 20th century and it will not trigger a global war, but Lebanon is threatening to sink the Middle East into yet another vicious cycle of violence as political divisions and ideological battles fuel regional tensions.

Read Here – The National

Shia Jihadism To Fuel Sectarian Fire in Syria

Amid Syria‘s worsening crisis, there is another unprecedented, yet overlooked phenomenon that bodes ill for the entire region: the rise of global Shia jihadism. The number of foreign Shia jihadists in Syria is arguably greater than Sunni ones. So what will this new trend mean, asks Hassan Hassan,

Read Here – The National

Federalism Would Mean Death Of Iraqi Nationalism — But So What?

Yet again Iraq finds itself at a ‘crossroad’ – a euphemism for political intransigence to the point of paralysis coupled with a spike in violence, cruelty and ethno-sectarian entrenchment. As with all such crossroads since 2003 the idea that Iraq needs to – or indeed inevitably will – fragment into three states with neat ethno-sectarian labels has gained purchase during the recent crisis.

Read Here – Gulf News

Back in Black

Iraq’s nascent democracy faces a new dilemma: whether or not to embrace the political comeback of a former militia leader. Muqtada al-Sadr, the firebrand Shia cleric, has launched a public relations campaign, rebranding himself as a voice of sectarian harmony. Should Iraqis welcome Sadr with open arms, or be wary of his new persona?

Sadr first made a name for himself as an erratic demagogue who stoked sectarian fighting and helped bring Iraq’s young democracy to its knees. From 2003 to 2008, Sadr’s Mahdi Army took up arms against successive Iraqi governments and committed widespread atrocities against the country’s Sunni minority, in addition to targeting U.S. installations and personnel until American forces left Iraq at the end of 2011.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Iraq’s Return To Boodshed

Eighteen days of protests in Egypt in 2011 electrified the world. But more than twice that many days of protest in Iraq have gone almost unnoticed in the United States. Iraqi army troops killed five Sunni protesters in Fallujah on Jan. 25, after a month of anti-government protests in AnbarNineveh and Salahuddin provinces and elsewhere for which thousands turned out. Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are re-mobilizing. Iraq teeters on the brink of renewed insurgency and, potentially, civil war.

Read Here – Washington Post

Iraq’s Al-Maliki Finds Himself In A Soup

Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s efforts to solve myriad issues, including angry rallies against him, with a one-size-fits-all approach is likely to prolong Iraq’s perennial crises, experts say.
More than six years into his rule, the premier is no stranger to stand-offs.
But the latest crisis pitting him against many of his erstwhile Cabinet partners as protests have raged for more than a month in the north and west is decidedly more dangerous, one analyst believes.
“This is around the 10th crisis since he became prime minister again,” said Crispin Hawes, Middle East and North Africa director at the Eurasia Group in London. “He doesn’t have a new strategy for each situation.”

Read Here – Arab News

Why Separatism Could Rip Iraq Apart — Again

It’s not easy being a prominent Sunni in Iraq these days. This past December, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of several bodyguards of Rafi al-Issawi, the minister of finance and one of the most influential and respected Sunni leaders in Iraq. In response, tens of thousands of Sunnis took to the streets of Anbar, Mosul, and other predominantly Sunni cities, demanding the end of what they consider government persecution. Issawi has accused Maliki of targeting him as part of a systematic campaign against Sunni leaders, which includes the 2011 indictment of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni, on terrorism charges.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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