Books

Every month since its founding in 2007, Al-Mesbar Center has published “The Monthly Book,” a full-length volume of research in Arabic, on a topic of pressing concern to the region’s decision makers — complete with granular findings from primary sources largely unavailable elsewhere. Now, for readers of English, the Center presents a description of the content of each book, searchable by topic, country, and subregion of the Muslim world. For information about subscribing to the Monthly Book, acquiring prior volumes, or commissioning full translations, contact us.

Theories of the State in Arabic and Islamic Literature

Published: November 16, 2017

The concept of the nationstate did not entered Arab political discourse in earnest until the second half of the twentieth century. Initial responses to the concept mostly fell under the rubrics of Arab nationalism, pan-Arabism, and pan-Islamism. More recently, a the concept of the nationstate has been reconsidered in Arab intellectual circles, in light of […]

Child Recruitment: ISIS, Houthis, Boko Haram

Published: August 25, 2017

The most vulnerable victims of the scars of war — whether physical, psychological, or cultural — are children. One type of child victim is the one who is attacked. The other is the child soldier, taught to kill before attaining the maturity to understand or bear the many consequences. According to UNESCO, in more than […]

Returning Fighters from Conflict Zones: Challenges and Capacities

Published: July 15, 2017

The crisis in Syria — together with the broader escalation in Islamist militancy, proxy wars, and shifting political alignments — has radically altered the regional map. The “Islamic State” has exerted control over swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, attracting thousands of fighters from different nationalities who answered the call of a self-proclaimed “Caliph.” […]

Salafism in Iraqi Kurdistan: History, Media, Criticism

Published: June 15, 2017

The Kurdish question is one the most vital national struggles in the region. Its trajectory is most easily observed in Iraqi Kurdistan, as differing forms and degrees of autonomous rule have been granted to the area since the 1970s. In addition to Kurds’ well-known fighting spirit, but their societies are nuanced with ideas and ideologies […]

The Psychology of Terrorism: Individuals and Terrorist Groups

Published: May 15, 2017

The psychology of terrorism is a nascent field in psychological scholarship. It has emerged in recent years as part of an effort to understand the multi-layered phenomenon of terrorism more scientifically  — from organized terror to “lone wolves,” and down to the character and mindset of the terrorists themselves. No consensus has yet been reached […]

Iran and The Muslim Brotherhood part 3: Shi’ite Qutubists

Published: April 15, 2017

Revolutionary Islamist movements, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, share many of the same goals and tactics. Despite apparent ideological and dogmatic differences, the concepts and mechanisms employed by both varieties of Islamists are based on employing religion in politics and exploiting regional shifts and turmoil within politics and society. Al Mesbar’s 124th book, for April 2017, […]

ISIS, Its Siblings, and Their Parallels: Ideology, “Takfir,” Texts

Published: March 15, 2017

In its 123rd monthly book (March 2017), Al-Mesbar Center pursues its research into the phenomenon of “Da’esh” further by attempting to dissect the narratives the group has adopted and used. Our book focuses on the ideological development of Dae’sh and the history of the relationship between it and Al Qaeda, in light of a discourse that tried to […]

Muslims in Australia: History and Policies of Multiculturalism

Published: March 05, 2017

Western academic circles and think tanks have taken interest in Islamic studies and various Muslim minorities in Europe and America. In the last decade, scholarship on Muslim diaspora communities increased due to a variety of factors, among them mass migration, concerns of growing terrorism following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and Europe’s wariness regarding some […]

Contemporary Slavery as Instituted by Terrorist Groups in Iraq and Syria

Published: February 17, 2017

As international media coverage of the “Islamic State” has consistently shown, the organization uses Islamic jurisprudential rulings more than a thousand years old to justify the enslavement of women and children today. This human tragedy goes far beyond the realm of ISIS, moreover: It has become a mainstay of contemporary jihadist groups as they emerge […]

Major Muslim Crises: History, Memory, and Recruitment

Published: December 26, 2016

  Crises in human societies manifest in political, social, and religious dimensions. Mismanagement of such crises, however, compounds their impact on the affected societies and prolongs the tensions, while the precipitating factors — and the beneficiaries of such crises — are often skirted. Wars, violent turbulence, and sudden transformations also shape popular memory. To understand […]