Saudi Arabia v. Morocco: Competing for the Mantle of Moderate Islam

Moroccan King Mohammed VI and Saudi King Salman

by James M. Dorsey Lurking in the background of a Saudi-Moroccan spat over World Cup hosting rights and the Gulf crisis is a more fundamental competition for the mantle of spearheading promotion of a moderate interpretation of Islam. It’s a competition in… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia Drags Geopolitical Baggage into World Cup

Saudi national team at 2018 World Cup (Wikimedia Commons).

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Arabia has much at stake when its national soccer team enters the pitch for the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. With politics a permanent fixture, Saudi Arabia is playing in the World… Continue Reading  

European Parliament Calls for Sanctions against Bahrain

Beating marks on the back of Nabeel Rajab after police attacked peaceful protest in 2005 (Wikimedia Commons)

by Eldar Mamedov On June 14, the European Parliament has adopted, with an overwhelming majority, a strongly worded resolution condemning Bahrain for human rights violations. The immediate trigger for the resolution was the sentencing of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent Bahraini… Continue Reading  

The Middle East in Trump’s Wake

522142-01-02

by Emile Nakhleh As President Donald Trump revels in his diplomatic foray into North Korea, he doesn’t have any comparable diplomatic “success” in the Middle East. None of the optimistic promises he made upon assuming office in January 2017 regarding… Continue Reading  

OPEC and President Trump: His Tweets Don’t Matter

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Rhonda Moraski

by Thomas W. Lippman There are several possible explanations for the tweet President Trump sent out on Wednesday criticizing the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the continuing rise in the price of oil. One is that he simply… Continue Reading