Conflicting Fundamentalisms and Shia Political Power

December 10, 2016

For the US to understand the changing power dynamics in the Middle East, Iran’s historical arc and its guidance of Shia fundamentalism need to be understood. Since the election of Michel Aoun as president on November 1, a two-year political stalemate in Lebanon has concluded. His election...

The Battle for Iraq

July 01, 2014

Sunni tribes have a right to stand against Maliki, but colluding with ISIS may prove to be a fatal mistake. As Iraq teeters on the brink of civil war, the media narrative to explain the “ISIS” insurgency shows a narrow view of current events. Although the involvement of the Islamic State of...

Iraq and the New Westphalia

June 15, 2014

Economic and sectarian roots of Iraq’s civil strife must be remembered amid new democratic projects. Iraq held nationwide elections on April 30, while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki only won a plurality of seats in the Iraqi parliament. The elections were hailed as a nation-building step,...

The Fallout From Syria: Hate Speech in Indonesia

March 25, 2014

Jihadi groups propagate an anti-Shia narrative to mobilize Indonesian militants to fight in Syria. A hate speech regulation is desperately needed in Indonesia to contain the damaging effects of jihadi propaganda, as this narrative is increasingly used to mobilize Indonesian Muslims against the...

Lebanon and the Syrian Refugee Crisis

March 19, 2014

As long as the war continues, Syrian refugees will not be going home. After 11 months of political impasse that prevented the formation of a government, Lebanese political parties finally reached a consensus in mid-February. For the time being, a descent into disorder has been avoided. But it...

Iraq: Sectarianism, Oil and the War in Syria (Part 1/2)

March 17, 2014

Maliki treats the breakdown of order in Iraq as a challenge to his rule. Iraq has certainly experienced a turbulent decade. The US-led invasion in 2003 which culminated in the ouster of long-time ruler Saddam Hussein was a game-changer in Iraq's history. Subsequent efforts by the Coalition...

Iraq: The Struggle for Truth in Fallujah

March 08, 2014

Maliki's war cry over fighting al-Qaeda is a clear subversion of the truth. As violence in Fallujah escalates to near-unprecedented levels, the entire narrative of the fighting seems to evade a number of key points. Namely, this fighting was not precipitated by the capture of Sunni strongholds by...

Lesson of Lebanon Can Help Solve Syrian Crisis

February 19, 2014

Could Lebanon's 15-year conflict prove to be a lesson for Syria? Lebanon’s civil war, which cost some 150,000 lives, was brought to a much needed if unsatisfactory end by the Taif Agreement, or National Reconciliation Accord. It had become clear to the warring Shi'a, Sunni and...

Iraq: The Lasting Impact of the US Invasion

February 19, 2014

Iraq’s upsurge in violence should not obscure the lasting impact of the 2003 invasion. In a recent article for Fair Observer, Jafar Hassan asserted that: "US foreign policy, while misguided in several instances, is not a decisive cause of Iraq’s failing democracy." Upon reading this, I...

Lessons from the Egyptian Revolution

February 12, 2014

Egyptians psychologically need a strong national institution. Two sayings often come to my mind when I think about the Egyptian revolution these days. The first is attributed to Prophet Mohammed: "khayr al-amur al-wasat" (the best path is the middle one). The second is attributed to James...

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