Foreign Policy Blogs

Islamic Awakening

American-Somali relations: What’s in the words?

American-Somali relations: What’s in the words?

  As a former detractor who has not been a fan of the Obama administration’s foreign policy toward Somalia, it is an overstatement to say that I watched Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman’s speech on June 3 with certain level of skepticism. Of course, nothing more than that healthy dose necessary in […]

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Egyptian Jewish Leader: Sisi Will Bring Egypt in a Cosmopolitan Direction

Egyptian Jewish Leader: Sisi Will Bring Egypt in a Cosmopolitan Direction

Levana Zamir, the head of the International Association of Jews from Egypt, stressed that Sisi is bringing Egypt in a more cosmopolitan and less hateful direction. She believes that it is good for everyone that he is Egypt’s President. Levana Zamir, the head of the International Association of Jews from Egypt, told the Foreign Policy […]

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Libya: Trying to establish order amid chaos

Libya: Trying to establish order amid chaos

While no road to democracy is smooth, Libya has seen its fair share of upheaval since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 helped bust open the Arab Spring. Discord has escalated in the last month, threatening rule of law and the transitional government’s legitimacy. Let’s go back to May 4, 2014, when Libya’s General […]

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Chaos deepens in Libya

Chaos deepens in Libya

One might think that Libya could have a greater chance of succeeding at the Arab Spring, given its tiny population and vast oil resources. The OPEC nation is spared the economic woes of cash-strapped Tunisia, the heterogeneity of war-torn Syria or the demographic challenges of Egypt. But the country has been mired in unrelenting violence […]

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East African alliances necessary for U.S. to combat radicalism

East African alliances necessary for U.S. to combat radicalism

Ever since the events unfolded on Sep. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the U.S. has focused an exorbitant amount of resources to ensure that similar attacks, targeting Americans, are prevented. This means identifying areas that could become breeding grounds for future radicals that are […]

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A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 2 of 2)

A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 2 of 2)

Is the crisis in the Central African Republic a “clash of civilizations”? A recent report entitled “Behind the Headlines: Drivers of Violence in the Central African Republic” from Enough, a Washington-based project of the Center for American Progress whose goal is to end genocide and crimes against humanity, is particularly revealing. Comments by the author […]

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A Candid Discussion with Ayatollah Abdolhamid Masoumi-Tehrani

A Candid Discussion with Ayatollah Abdolhamid Masoumi-Tehrani

  Abdolhamid Masoumi-Tehrani is an Iranian Ayatollah based in Tehran, Iran. He is also a calligrapher and painter, who uses his art works to challenge openly Iran’s ruling clergy and power elite to adopt a more tolerant social and political order. A recent calligraphic art work by Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani sent shock waves through Iran’s ruling […]

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Beijing Desperate to Rein in Terrorism

Beijing Desperate to Rein in Terrorism

Beijing is going all out in its efforts to rein in terrorism, following the latest attack at a morning street market in Urumqi, which killed at least 43 people and wounded dozens. The bombing in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, has been blamed on five suspects, all Uighurs, the region’s most populous Muslim minority. Police said that […]

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A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 1 of 2)

A Clash of Civilizations in the Central African Republic? (Part 1 of 2)

As the fighting continues in the Central African Republic, many of those following the crisis are portraying it as primarily a clash between the country’s Muslim minority and Christian militiamen, which to date has resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 people since December and the displacement of nearly a quarter of the country’s population […]

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Inter-factional Rivalry and Iran’s Strategic Interests

Inter-factional Rivalry and Iran’s Strategic Interests

As Iran and the United States, a key member of the P5+1 world powers, inch toward deicing their 35-year-old frosty and at times traumatic relations, jockeying from all sides of political spectrum target the direction of this process and whether the icy relations should ever start to melt. Regional opponents of improved ties between Iran […]

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Is the GCC a Toothless Organization?

Is the GCC a Toothless Organization?

The [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is comprised of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. According to the GCC’s Charter, what unites these countries are their “special relations, common characteristics and similar systems founded on the creed of Islam.” “Their […]

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A Muslim Call to Partition the CAR

A Muslim Call to Partition the CAR

While the world focuses on the calls for partition by pro-Russian citizens in the south and east of Ukraine, similar calls from a small African nation are drawing less attention — despite horrific human rights abuses occurring on its territory. In what the U.N. human rights body and Amnesty International have called “ethnic-religious cleansing” between the […]

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Divisions, disaffection contour Algerian politics

Divisions, disaffection contour Algerian politics

Algeria just re-elected its longest-serving president for a fourth term, in what many describe as a fraught campaign punctuated by violence and citizen apathy. While the April 17 vote yielded no surprise, it unleashed a pertinent debate about the future of Algeria’s seemingly impermeable regime. In an awkwardly short ceremony, Abdelaziz Bouteflika was sworn in on […]

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Candid Discussions: Kenneth Pollack on U.S. Policy in the Middle East

Candid Discussions: Kenneth Pollack on U.S. Policy in the Middle East

  Kenneth Pollack is a former CIA intelligence analyst and currently a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Pollack’s expertise is on Middle East politics and military affairs with particular emphasis on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Gulf States of the Persian Gulf region. He previously served […]

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Reaffirmation of Islamic Philanthropy: a reflection

Reaffirmation of Islamic Philanthropy: a reflection

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ― Albert Pike   A few years ago, while wearing a different hat, I was invited to speak at an event hosted by U.N. Millennium Development Goals guru Jeffrey Sachs and Columbia […]

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