Astronomy: The Outer Frontier of Saudi Liberalization

Richard Branson

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s investment of $1 billion and option to pump a further $480 million into Richard Branson’s ventures in space, confirmed during the prince’s recent visit to the United States, was more than… Continue Reading  

The Islamic State Threat to Hamas

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by Theodore Karasik and Giorgio Cafiero At the beginning of January, the offshoot of the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) in the Egyptian Sinai released a 22-minute execution video titled “Community of Abraham.” The victim was an alleged Hamas collaborator.… Continue Reading  

The Many Languages of Islam in the Caucasus

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by Rebecca Ruth Gould While visiting Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge towards the end of the second Chechen War (1999-2009), what struck me most was the large number of Christian graves that resembled Muslim tombstones. I was also struck by the Georgian inscriptions on… Continue Reading  

Can Rouhani Meet the Expectations of Iran’s Sunnis?

Molavi-Abdolhamid-Rouhani

by Fatemeh Aman Sunni religious minorities had a high turnout in Iran’s recent presidential election that led to Hassan Rouhani’s victory. Is there now a better prospect for improving the rights of minorities, or were they only used as a… Continue Reading  

Azerbaijan: Officials Are Wrong to Securitize the Shias

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by Eldar Mamedov Roughly 300 kilometers south of Baku, Azerbaijan’s booming capital with its glitzy boutiques and five-star hotels, lies a different reality. Groups of humbly dressed, unshaven men in black shirts flocked to mosques in mid-October in the town… Continue Reading