Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: Activism in the United Kingdom

October 18, 2016

Scholars hoping to get an insider and yet critical appraisal of Islamic activism in Europe should take this book as their starting point. No religious minority in the world today has received so much global attention as the Muslims in Europe. From the burkini and burqa ban in France to the...

Salafism is a Threat to Peace in Southeast Asia

October 10, 2014

With the persecution of Shiite Muslims in Southeast Asia, Salafism represents a threat to peace in the region. It is a fact that many acts of physical as well as verbal violence are perpetrated in the name of Islam. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify that the problem lies not in the religion...

Islamic State: Ideological Challenge to Saudi Arabia

September 05, 2014

The Islamic State poses an ideological challenge to Saudi Arabia, as it fuels Salafist debate about political Islam. The meteoric rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and its declaration of an Islamic State straddling the two Arab countries raises the specter of a militant...

Syria’s Salafi Awakening: Existential Psychological Primers (Part 2/2)

July 31, 2014

The constant fear of death has transformed Syria’s secular Sunnis into warriors of God. Whether it is the thump of barrel bombs, the indiscriminate artillery barrages or the sniping of innocent bystanders — to name only a few — Syria is rife with testaments of human...

Syria’s Salafi Awakening: Existential Psychological Primers (Part 1/2)

July 15, 2014

The constant fear of death has transformed Syria’s secular Sunnis into warriors of God. The prevailing narrative of the Syrian Civil War tells of a conflict that sprouted as a struggle for socioeconomic reform, but soon blossomed into a canonized religious showdown. As it stands, Salafi...

Returning From Syria: Terrorism in the West

March 01, 2014

Western security services need to be on guard to handle a new terrorist threat from Syria. With numerous foreign fighters converging in Syria over the last couple of years, the following question needs to be asked: What happens to the face of terrorism once the foreign fighters return...

Referendum in Egypt: International Monitoring Helps the Regime

January 11, 2014

The EU should not monitor the Egyptian referendum, but instead push for political inclusion. The military coup of July 2013 did not only topple the government of President Mohammed Morsi, but it also suspended Egypt’s constitution. The constitution had been adopted through a referendum in...

Tunisia: New Government, Old Ways?

January 08, 2014

Tunisia’s government reshuffling promises to change little for the country's impoverished population. About a year ago, in Los Angeles, I asked Jaco, a Tunisian-Jewish friend, for his thoughts on the post-Ben Ali Tunisian political situation. He thought about it for a second and summed...

Tunisia: Skirting Along a Precipice That Leads to Failed Statedom?

January 08, 2014

Tunisia seems to have become fertile ground for jihadist groups. On December 14, 2013, Tunisia’s ruling Islamists reached an agreement with opposition parties choosing Mehdi Jomaa, the current Tunisian industry minister, to serve as interim prime minister until elections in 2014. Jomaa, a...

Bluster and Blowback in Beirut

January 04, 2014

Blowback from hardline Sunnis in Lebanon may become a long-term challenge for Hezbollah. The assassination of senior Hezbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis in early December, coming on the heels of the recent attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, marked the latest in a series of...

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