Al-Maqdisi statement on Salafi Jihadi infighting

Monday, 1. December 2014 5:47 | Author:

In case this site is pulled down, here is Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi’s statement of 23 September 2014 reflecting his view that ISIL, Jubhat al-Nusra and other Salafi Jihadists have damaged their cause through their division: [...]

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Key shifts in the Arab ‘moderates’ position on Hamas and Israel

Sunday, 7. September 2014 5:36 | Author:

Published by Middle East Monitor

The Egyptian, Saudi and other Arab “moderates” position on the Gaza war has been presented in most media discussion and political analysis as a striking departure from previous policy and indication of a new shift towards Israel and its view of Hamas, “resistance” and other regional challenges to the global order. The fact is, however, that their Gaza policies are the consequence of over a decade of restructuring of Arab positions to accommodate the United States. [...]

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UAE attacks in Libya: Not Zayed’s vision

Sunday, 7. September 2014 5:29 | Author:

First published at Foreign Policy and ECFR

One of the key principles of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Nahyan, who forged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) out of seven sheikhdoms, was to portray his small and vulnerable country as a friend to all Arabs. The federation he created evolved as an unusual hybrid, with cities as diverse as the liberal Dubai and the religiously conservative Sharjah next door. It has become one of the Arab world’s strongest economies, the second largest after Saudi Arabia despite a population one-sixth of the kingdom’s size, and continues to develop at breakneck speed. What Zayed — who passed away in 2004, leaving power in the hands of his ambitious son — would have made of his country’s involvement in the tangled revolutionary politics of Libya, several thousand miles to the west, is worth pondering. [...]

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Reuters Global Oil Forum discussion

Thursday, 4. September 2014 17:52 | Author:

Global Oil Forum discussion, Sept. 3 2014: Middle East Risk [...]

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The use and abuse of the ‘Islamic State’

Friday, 29. August 2014 0:13 | Author:

While the beheading of US photo journalist James Foley has rightly drawn global attention to the violence of Salafi jihadi groups, the successes of the Islamic State (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS) are being exploited by various actors to score political points.   [...]

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The “moderates” on Gaza: sowing seeds of hate

Thursday, 7. August 2014 1:08 | Author:

First published on Al Jazeeara.net aje.me/1sgTl1V

In 2006 Saudi Arabia’s leadership broke with convention in Arab politics by publicly blaming a self-proclaimed “resistance” force for provoking Israel to unleash a war. Rather than hold Israel to account for targeting civilians, ground invasion, air and sea blockade, Saudi Arabia took aim at Hizbullah for what it called “irresponsible adventurism” in kidnapping two Israeli soldiers. This set the tone for a number of Arab governments during a month of war during which it became clear they hoped Israel would “finish off” Hizbullah, a nuisance that inflamed popular passions, leading to impossible demands on regimes who relied on Western support to survive. Hosni Mubarak couldn’t even bring himself to call Hizbullah by its name, referring to it famously during the Lebanon war as “thingy”. Add to that, especially for Saudi Arabia, the fact that Hizbullah was an extension of Iranian power. [...]

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Key shifts in the “Arab moderate” position on Hamas and Israel

Tuesday, 5. August 2014 1:47 | Author:

The Egyptian, Saudi and other Arab “moderates” position on the Gaza war over the past three weeks has been presented in most media discussion and political analysis as a striking departure from previous policy and indication of a new shift towards Israel and its view of Hamas, “resistance” and other regional challenges to the global order. The fact is, however, that their Gaza policies are the consequence of over a decade of restructuring of Arab positions to accommodate the United States. [...]

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The Islamic State and Saudi Arabia: Further Thoughts

Saturday, 2. August 2014 19:50 | Author:

The Islamic State movement is a crude caricature of what its leaders think an Islamic state was and should be. Its latest violent spectacular – throwing Christians out of Mosul – is as contrary to the general tenor of inter-faith relations in the classical period of Islam, the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, as destroying non-orthodox Sunni places of worship. Those Islamic states made huge use of their large Christian populations, for one as translators of Greek thought and medicine. Periods of enforced orthodoxy were rare – the Abbasid caliph al-Ma’mun’s “inquisition” (al-mihna) of the religious scholars to oblige their adoption of Mutazila school’s theory of the Quran is the most obvious. In earlier periods there is even evidence that the Islamic states did not favour conversion of the largely Christian and Zoroastrian populations they had conquered, because the religion was for a period conceived of as an Arab patrimony and because the state wanted its jizya tax from non-Muslims. If we look at enforced covering of women and mass head-chopping there is similarly no indication of it as a defining feature of the caliphate. [...]

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The new caliphate: what it does and doesn’t mean

Monday, 30. June 2014 21:24 | Author:

First published by European Council on Foreign Relations

The word “caliphate” sends many into paroxysms of horrified excitement. Following the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 the opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its Arab calques liked to raise the bogeyman of this demonic political institution which Egyptian presidential candidate for the Brotherhood’s eminence grise Khairat al-Shater and Ennahda leader Mohammed al-Ghannouchi allegedly sought to establish. The main proof in the case seemed to be little more than that the Brotherhood was established a few years after the Turkish republic abolished the office of caliph in 1924, plus a lot of paranoia. No one really asked what “establishing a caliphate” would mean in practice. Mainstream media have avoided shedding much light, beyond telling us that it is a “medieval” entity. Given that the first caliphate was established around 623 CE and the last one ended less than a century back, we can safely say that this is useless information. [...]

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قطر: الثراء والثمن، وثائقي جديد لبي بي سي

Tuesday, 24. June 2014 4:25 | Author:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U26YYIaBeyI

فيلم وثائقي لبي بي سي أظهر فيه ببعض التصريحات عن طموحات قطر ومخاطرها

Category:Interview, Published articles 2014 | Comments (2)