International Relations

486 Items

people look at a destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, after an operation by the U.S. military which targeted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group.

Ghaith Alsayed

Newspaper Article - The New York Times

Intelligence From al-Baghdadi Raid, Including 2 Prisoners, Could Reveal Trove of ISIS Clues

| Oct. 28, 2019

Delta Force commandos took two Islamic State fighters as prisoners and a trove of intelligence from the now-destroyed compound where AbuBakral-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist, had been hiding, officials said Monday.

Nigerian schoolgirls sitting in presidential palace

(AP Photo/Azeez Akunleyan)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

“We Have Captured Your Women”: Explaining Jihadist Norm Change

| Summer 2019

In Pakistan and Nigeria, jihadist entrepreneurs have capitalized on external trigger events not only to successfully challenge established religious doctrine and norms, but to adopt radically new norms, including the use of gendered violence.

A funeral ceremony in Kobani, Syria

Wikicommons

Journal Article - E-International Relations (E-IR)

Societal (In)Security in the Middle East: Radicalism as a Reaction?

| Apr. 24, 2019

Societal insecurity, stemming from historical and functional realities has emboldened the identity-based gap of states vs. societies in the Arab region. The division of the Ottoman Empire into new states without much attention to identity lines, created a historical identity challenge in those states. On the other hand, Arab ruling elites’ efforts to enforce state-centred identities failed to prevent the challenge of conflicting identities. Later on, their functional inefficiencies emboldened the identity dichotomy.

As a result of threats perceived by Arab societies against their collective identity as well as separate challenges facing each state, the state-society gap continues to challenge state identities. Collectively perceived threats create and strengthen collective frameworks intended to address those threats. And among other frameworks come radical and terrorist organisations.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Symposium Aims to Reduce Sectarianism in Muslim World

| Summer 2018

The Belfer Center’s Iran Project presented the First Annual Symposium on Islam and Sectarian De-escalation at Harvard Kennedy School on April 14-15. The symposium was organized by Iran Project director Payam Mohseni and co-sponsored by Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, the Asia Center, the South Asia Institute, and the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. 

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Tasnim News

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Geopolitical Fight Club: Why Iraq Must Square off with Saudi Arabia

| Mar. 26, 2018

High mistrust of Saudi Arabia by Iraqi Shi’as is hampering any meaningful outreach Saudi is undertaking toward Iraq and any policy of balancing Iraq and Iran will not succeed unless serious steps toward sectarian de-escalation is taken in the region. In order to bridge the gap, there needs to be broad religious dialogue to discuss the role of Shia’s and Sunnis in the region and forge a common space for the inclusion of both denominations. Major Grand Ayatollahs—the highest authorities in the Shi’a world—have taken positive steps of forbidding the ritual cursing of certain companions of the Prophet Muhammad and the early caliphs considered reverential to the Sunni community. In this endeavor the role of Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf will be crucial as he has a track record of promoting better relations between Shi’as and Sunnis and is an authoritative moderating figure who can reign in hardline elements in Iraq who might be opposed to a détente.

Debris flies as Philippine Air Force fighter jets bomb suspected locations of Muslim militants in Marawi city, southern Philippines on Friday, June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File

Analysis & Opinions - The South China Morning Post

How Political Islam is Gaining Ground in Southeast Asia Despite The Fall of Islamic State

| Feb. 06, 2018

The results of upcoming elections in Malaysia and Indonesiawill provide a scorecard for the inroads made by political Islam in Southeast Asia’s two key Muslim-majority countries. In Malaysia, which will hold a general election this year, the standard-bearer of political Islam is the Parti Islam SeMalaysia. In Indonesia, which will have its presidential election next year, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) represents Islam in the political mainstream. But also powerful is the Front Pembela Islam, a vigilante group which registers its presence mostly through demonstrations and intimidation.

In this photo released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at a meeting of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Alliance in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Nov. 26, 2017 (Saudi Press Agency via AP).

Saudi Press Agency via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

The Plot Behind Saudi Arabia's Fight With Qatar

| Dec. 04, 2017

The recently promoted heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as M.B.S., has pledged to modernize the country. His agenda includes diversifying the Saudi economy beyond oil, expanding trade, bolstering employment and loosening restrictions on entertainment. But at least two domestic factors complicate his ambitions, and we may see them play out on the world stage in 2018.

A black-and-white depiction of Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, attracts signatures and comments of support from residents amid a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and neighboring Arab countries in Doha, Qatar, on July 3, 2017 (AP Photo/Maggie Hyde).

AP Photo/Maggie Hyde

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Qatar is at the Center of Today's Arab Tangle

| Nov. 15, 2017

A speedy but proper resolution of the standoff with Qatar is clearly in American interests. Consistent with President Trump’s May 20 Riyadh speech, and his just-announced plan of action against Iran, such a resolution must include Doha’s cessation of all forms of support for extremist Islamic movements and the end of its flirtation with Tehran.