Foreign Policy Blogs

Islamic Awakening

‘Getting Religion’ in Central Asia (Part 2 – National Debates)

‘Getting Religion’ in Central Asia (Part 2 – National Debates)

One of the biggest questions among analysts in 1991 was whether the five republics of Central Asia, after 70 years of Communism, would re-claim their historical faith and become a region of political Islam. Almost 25 years on, secular autocrats still rule and recognize Muslim traditions but keep faith out of governance.

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Palestinian Official Daily: “The U.S. Established ISIS”

Palestinian Official Daily: “The U.S. Established ISIS”

ISIS poses a threat to the entire Middle East region. They seek to conquer Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Lebanon, and perhaps also Turkey after they are done with Iraq and Syria. Nevertheless, the official Palestinian Authority daily accuses the U.S. of establishing ISIS, instead of blaming their growth on sectarian tensions and the rise […]

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Unrest in Xinjiang Leading to Extreme Measures

Unrest in Xinjiang Leading to Extreme Measures

Local authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region are going all out in their efforts to fight terrorism, including those in the northwestern city of Karamay, who are now banning people who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long beards, from boarding […]

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Palestinian Leader Mudar Zahran: “Hamas Gaining Popularity in the West Bank”

Palestinian Leader Mudar Zahran: “Hamas Gaining Popularity in the West Bank”

The head of the Palestinian community in Jordan Mudar Zahran, who is presently living in the West Bank and reporting live what is happening in Operation Protective Edge, stresses that Gazans now hate Hamas more than Israel, but Palestinians in the West Bank now are increasingly supporting Hamas. JerusalemOnline reported this week that the mass […]

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VICE NEWS DOCUMENTARY: THE ISLAMIC STATE

VICE NEWS DOCUMENTARY: THE ISLAMIC STATE

  Within a few weeks of its bloody foray into northern and central Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which was rebranded by its top management as the Islamic State (IS), has built a global reputation for unbridled savagery and ruthlessness. The group’s ongoing use of social media channels and of professional video […]

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Candid Discussions: Noura Erakat on the Conflict in Gaza

Candid Discussions: Noura Erakat on the Conflict in Gaza

  Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney, activist, educator, and an outspoken critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East. She is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University, teaching international human rights law in the Middle East. She is also a co-editor of Jadaliyya, an online magazine focused on the Middle East produced by the Arab Studies Institute […]

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Candid Discussions: Marc Schulman of the Times of Israel on Israel and Gaza

Candid Discussions: Marc Schulman of the Times of Israel on Israel and Gaza

    Marc Schulman is an app developer and contributing writer for the Times of Israel. His articles have most recently appeared in Newsweek. He is the editor of Historycentral.com and author a series of Multimedia History Apps and a biography of John F. Kennedy Jr.  He currently lives in Tel Aviv. Mr. Schulman spoke with Allison […]

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Globalization has not reached Somalia, but ‘junglification’ has

Globalization has not reached Somalia, but ‘junglification’ has

  Considering the violent political unrest in various parts of the world, many accept the claim that the 21st century will go down in history as a period of global reorder, perpetual insecurity and bloodshed. If the grim headlines of the first decade could be taken as forecasts of the storms ahead, many nation-states are […]

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Differing Views on Islam in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Part 1 – Big Mosques)

Differing Views on Islam in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Part 1 – Big Mosques)

With many eyes on the World Cup, another international contest has been brewing in Central Asia: the region’s biggest mosque. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both former Soviet republics, each have under construction mega-mosques in their respective capitals, funded by foreign partners. While perhaps unsurprising in predominately Muslim countries in the fading shadow of the USSR, the […]

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A Candid Discussion with Richard Barrett of the Soufan Group

A Candid Discussion with Richard Barrett of the Soufan Group

Richard Barrett is Senior Vice President at the Soufan Group, a New York-based security intelligence firm that provides strategic services to governments and multinational organizations. He is an internationally recognized expert on violent extremism and the measures that can be taken against it. A former British diplomat and intelligence officer with the British government in the […]

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The ISIS Story

The ISIS Story

Known today at the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has gone through many reorganizations and name changes in the course of the past dozen years, but it has kept essentially the same goals. Although sometimes referred to as a branch of al Qaida, it is better described as a rival organization that formed […]

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ANALYSIS: America Should Change Its Iraq Policy

ANALYSIS: America Should Change Its Iraq Policy

The U.S. should not help Shia Islamists to the detriment of Sunni Islamists. The U.S. should support toleration and moderation in Iraq. Their current policies don’t do this. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stated that it would be a serious mistake to ease pressure on Iran in the nuclear talks in exchange for help […]

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Mordechai Kedar: “Iraq Should Be Broken Up Into Homogeneous States”

Mordechai Kedar: “Iraq Should Be Broken Up Into Homogeneous States”

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a prominent Middle East scholar at Bar Ilan University, told an audience at the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel that the United States made a great mistake by not dividing Iraq into three states, one Kurdish, one Sunni, and one Shia. He believes that this mistake led to a situation […]

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The Spy Who Told Me

The Spy Who Told Me

With the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) pressing now toward Baghdad, Iraq’s only hope in the chance of a more inclusive government is to move toward a coalition embracing all of the country’s religious and ethnic groups.   But with suspicion and hatred in Iraq running deep, it’s easier said than done, and […]

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Saudi-Iranian Face-Off in Iraq

Saudi-Iranian Face-Off in Iraq

I have been recently asked by LinkedIn to contribute writing for the professional social networking site. So, for my first piece I decided to write the following on the worsening situation in Iraq. The piece can be accessed in its entirety here. The crumbling of government authority in Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq under the alarming onslaught […]

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