Militant Clergy—the Future of Shia Islam?

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by Saeid Golkar Mohammad Aqamiri might be the first-ever Shia cleric from Iran who martyred himself in Syria after the Syrian uprising. While studying and teaching at Qom Seminary in 2013, Aqamiri enlisted in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and died defending the holy shrine… Continue Reading  

No, Turkey 2016 is not Iran 1979

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by Eldar Mamedov In a flurry of the articles written in the aftermath of the failed coup aftermath in Turkey, some analysts argued that the victorious Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will now launch a wholesale Islamization of the country.… Continue Reading  

Turmoil in Eastern Saudi Arabia

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by Giorgio Cafiero and Alex Stout The January 2 execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a popular Shi’ite cleric from Awamiya in eastern Saudi Arabia, set off angry protests worldwide. From Michigan to London, and from Bahrain to Kashmir, Shi’ite… Continue Reading  

Iran and Israel: Intimate Enemies

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by Mansour Farhang The enmity between Iran and Israel has become a given of political life in the Middle East. Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, condemned Israel as an “enemy of Islam” while his successor, Ayatollah Khamenei,… Continue Reading  

The Politics of Hostage-Taking in Iran

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by Mansour Farhang The day that Iranian students attacked the U. S. embassy in Tehran— November 4, 1979—marks a durably contentious date in US–Iranian relations. Henry Kissinger once described Iran under the late Shah as “that rarest of things in international… Continue Reading