Markaz

  • Markaz

    Exclusion-Moderation: The emergence of Islamist cooperation with secular groups in Kuwait

    Markaz: Middle East Politics & Policy

    Courtney Freer looks at the role of Islamist and secular cooperation in Kuwait in order to gain a greater understanding of the behavior of political Islam in the post-coup era.

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    Iraq after the fall of Ramadi: How to avoid another unraveling of Iraq

    Iraqi security forces defend against Islamic State extremists in Ramadi.

    Kenneth M. Pollack discusses the fall of Ramadi to Islamic State militants, describing it as an a politically alarming but militarily modest setback for Iraq and the United States. However, he argues that it is a warning that should be heeded, and calls for considerable American political and military assistance to prevent a deeper descent into chaos and civil war.

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    Changing assumptions about women in Middle East

    Om Mohamad, a woman who fled her home in Al-Bayada neighbourhood of Homs to live in her daughter's house in Bsida, works on building a house from debris and metal of her daughter's collapsed house after it was destroyed in Bsida village, southern Idlib countryside (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi).

    Jomana Qaddour looks at how women in the Middle East are playing a more visible role in their communities and on the international stage as they take part in both political and civil spheres. Qaddour argues that the region— struggling simultaneously to survive violence, thwart terrorism, protest for its basic freedoms— has become an increasingly globalized culture, where gender roles are no longer fixed in time or place.

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    Security interests overshadow Tunisia’s President Essebsi in Washington

    Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi speaks during an interview in Tunis on April 2, 2015.

    Tunisian President Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi will meet President Obama on Thursday, marking a milestone in the American relationship with a democratic Tunisian government. Tamara Cofman Wittes highlights the progress Tunisia has made in its democratic transition since kicking off the Arab Spring in 2010 and calls for more robust political, economic, and security support from the United States and Europe to the small North African nation.

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    On Iran, the GCC is paying the price of relying on Benjamin Netanyahu

    President Barack Obama speaks while hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at Camp David in Maryland (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque).

    Although the recent Camp David summit reinforced cooperation between Washington and the Gulf Cooperation Council states, Shibley Telhami examines the unresolved issue between the two sides — GCC fears that Iranian influence will expand in the aftermath of a deal. Telhami argues that the GCC relied on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make the case against the deal, but his focus on the nuclear program resulted in the region's broader concerns about Iranian policies to be sidestepped.

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    Stakes getting dangerously high for Saudi Arabia and its young prince

    Houthi followers use mud to cover bodies of Houthi fighters as they bury them in Sanaa (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah).

    As the war in Yemen resumes after a short humanitarian truce, Bruce Riedel argues that internal politics in Saudi Arabia — and how the royal family is viewed in the region — must be considered when looking for a possible end to Operation Decisive Storm.

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    Where is al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri?

    Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri speaks in this file video footage released April 29, 2006.

    Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri has not issued a statement or released a video since last September, despite a number of major events having occurred during that period including the deaths of top al-Qaida leaders, advances made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. Bruce Riedel speculates on why the usually effusive terrorist leader has gone silent in recent months. 

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    Israeli elections: Netanyahu IV

    Markaz: Israeli Elections

    On May 14 Israel's 34th government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fourth, was sworn in, following a flurry of last minute negotiations. In lieu of the more stable, governable coalition the prime minister had hoped for when he called for elections last December, Netanyahu now heads a majority comprised of only 61 members. Given the make up of this government and the difficult negotiations that led to its formation, Natan Sachs writes that Netanyahu is now challenged and constrained on multiple fronts, including from within his own Likud party.

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    Israel’s turn to come to Washington

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, before his new government is sworn in following the mid-March general elections, in Jerusalem (REUETRS/Jim Hollander).

    Tamara Cofman Wittes explains why this week's face-to-face meetings among world leaders should convince Benjamin Netanyahu that he would be wise to begin his new term as Israel's prime minister with a trip to Washington, and a personal meeting with President Obama.

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    Experts weigh in (part 5): How does ISIS approach Islamic scripture?

    A man grills meat along a street in Raqqa (REUTERS/Stringer).

    Mara Revkin explains how ISIS leverages Islamic law and scripture to justify economic activities and policies that, stripped of the religious trappings, resemble organized crime. ISIS, she writes, exploits the ambiguity of Islamic scriptural guidance on taxation by cherry-picking concepts and arguments that support its own objectives.

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