Markaz

  • Markaz

    Why we should toss the 'moderate Muslims' label

    Muslim demonstrators pray during a protest against the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, near Downing Street in central London (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth).

    As a part of the Washington Post's annual "Ten things to toss" feature, Shadi Hamid argues that it is time to retire the term "moderate Muslims." Labeling Muslims as "moderate," Hamid writes, has been used to justify poor foreign policy decisions, and demonstrates a misunderstanding of the very societies we are working to change. 

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    The grand bargain: What Iran conceded in the nuclear talks

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd R) speaks with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz speak as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (not pictured) reads a statement, following nuclear talks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski).

    The parameters of a potential framework for a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 have kept both critics and supporters in Washington buzzing.  Richard Nephew argues that the controversy surrounding the reported differences between the factsheet released by the Obama Administration, and the joint statement read by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, misidentifies concessions made by the United States, and reveals an obsessive disregard of how diplomacy actually works.

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    Whether or not Pakistan will join the war in Yemen may depend on a group you’ve probably never heard of

    Pakistani soldiers march during the Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad March 23, 2015.

    As Saudi Arabia goes to war in Yemen, it is calling in favors, with Egypt and other allies joining Riyadh’s “alliance” against the Houthis, whom the Saudis see as another Iranian proxy. Pakistan is considering joining the fray. C. Christine Fair and Ali Hamza explain Pakistan’s domestic dynamics, focusing particular attention on Jamaat-ud-Dawa, formerly called Lashkar-e Taiba, the terrorist group that has long worked closely with the Pakistani military and intelligence service.  Read More

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    Iraq's Mr. Abadi comes to Washington

    Tomorrow, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi will meet with President Obama for the first time as prime minister. Kenneth M. Pollack explains how the Obama administration can seize this opportunity to help put Iraq back on the right track. 

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    Iranian press week in review

    Advisor to Pakistan's Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz (L) escorts Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad (REUTERS/T. Mughal).

    This week's review of the Iranian press highlights Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif’s visit to Pakistan, reactions to the ongoing crisis in Yemen, and continued coverage and commentary surrounding the nuclear negotiations and the announcement made last week in Lausanne, Switzerland. 
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    Dissing the deal: Iran's supreme leader throws the nuclear agreement into new uncertainty

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a sermon during Friday prayers at Tehran University (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl).

    A week after representatives from Iran, the United States, and five other world powers announced a breakthrough on framing a comprehensive nuclear accord, Iran's supreme leader entered the fray with a speech that casts serious doubts on the deal. Suzanne Maloney analyzes his remarks and their implications for President Barack Obama's efforts to fend off domestic opposition to the deal.

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    Experts weigh in (part 9): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS?

    Women hold posters of Salafi preacher and presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail as they attend Friday prayers in Tahrir square in Cairo (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany).

    In the latest installment in an ongoing discussion organized by the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Kamran Bokhari argues that Salafi participation in electoral politics offers a better alternative to jihadi violence than quietist Salafism.  Read More

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    Pakistan resisting Yemen war, but will its relationship with Saudi Arabia survive?

    Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (L) speaks at a news conference with Advisor to Pakistan's Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad (REUTERS/Caren Firouz).

    Bruce Riedel looks at the situation in Yemen and the saga of Saudi Arabia's request for Pakistani help for Operation Decisive Storm. With a recent visit from Iran's foreign minister to Pakistan, Riedel argues there are concerns about Iran's clout in the region, as the war in Yemen grows into a regional conflict.

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    Experts weigh in (part 8): Is quietist Salafism the antidote to ISIS?

    A man reads the Koran in a mosque in Sanaa, as Muslims prepare for the fasting month of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar (REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi).

    In the latest installment in an ongoing discussion organized by the Brookings Project on U.S. relations with the Islamic World, Farid Senzai writes that quietist Salafis are best positioned to provide a counternarrative to ISIS, and can therefore be constructively engaged in deradicalization efforts in the West

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    Saudi blowback: War in Yemen spreading

    A follower of the Houthi movement shouts slogans during a protest against the Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah).

    As the Saudi-led air campaign against Houthi fighters in Yemen nears its second week, Bruce Riedel examines recent gun battles in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province between Saudi authorities and Shiite militants, and argues that blowback from Operation Decisive Storm has the potential to spill over into neighboring countries.

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