Research Articles

Nimr al-Nimr, Political Violence, and the Future of Saudi Shi’ites

BURAYDAH, CENTRAL SAUDI ARABIA—In 2010, I paid a visit to the city of Al-Qatif, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where the largest concentration of the country’s Shi‘a minority lives. An SMS message addressed to me arrived on the mobile phone of my friend Habib, who accompanied me on the trip. Habib is a […]

On the Execution of Saudi Shi’ite Cleric Nimr al-Nimr

by Joseph Braude – In the Arab world as well as the West, recent discussion of the execution of Saudi Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr has been strident: Sunni Gulf states applaud the action as a step forward in the struggle against terrorism, Iran and Arab Shi’ites condemn it as part of a war on their […]

Inter-religious Dialogue and the “Disagreement Complex”

by Mohamed al-Haddad Much present-day interfaith and intercultural dialogue stems from the culture of globalization, as communities encounter each other and differences emerge on the international stage. But dialogue that truly means something demands radical changes in the mindsets of some of the societies that participate. The first essential change is to adopt the capacity […]

Unity Without Uniformity

by Adam Garfinkle History holds such a treasury of insights that if we ransack its resources long enough we can find examples of nearly anything. But if history teaches not just X but also the converse, inverse, and contrapositive of X, then what good is it? It is good for illustrating future possibilities—history used as […]

Obstacles and Challenges for Women’s Political Participation in Arab Lands

by Ekram Adnani With the beginnings of the development of structures for political participation in Arab lands in the 1950s and 60s, women were initially excluded. And while they also did not enjoy their political rights in some Western countries at the time, as women’s role in politics in the West developed rapidly, Arab women […]

On the Virtue of Bridging Cultural Divides

On July 19th, 2015 in the Turkish capital Istanbul, Mansour Alnogaidan, Director of Al-Mesbar Center for Research and Studies, delivered the keynote speech at the opening ceremony for the International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership, which was organized by the Aladdin Project with the cooperation of UNESCO and Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University. His Excellency Mevlut Cavusoglu, […]

Our Children Are Terrorists

by Mansour Alnogaidan August 11, 2015 – Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with officials from the prisons system of the General Investigations Directorate in the Saudi province of Qaseem. An appalling number of children, between the ages of 15 and 19, are now behind bars there. Many have recently returned from […]

Minorities of the Islamic Republic

by Mohammed Mahfouz  July 29, 2015 – Iran is both religiously and ethnically diverse: Though most Iranians are Shi’i Muslim, a minority are Sunni, and other religious groups include Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. Its ethnic makeup consists not only of Persians but also Azeri, Arab, Kurdish, Balushi, and Turkmen communities. Official sources claim Persians make […]

The Problem with Women

by Adam Garfinkle July 14, 2015 – Arab Muslim and contemporary Western cultures each have a problem with women, and how each culture sees the other’s problem is a problem in itself. We each tend to project hazy, distorted images drawn from our own problem onto the other. Thus, it is common for Westerners to […]

The Political Foundations of Religious Tolerance

by Dr. Haytham Mouzahem July 7, 2015 – The Arab Muslim world struggles today with sectarian and ideological conflicts which affect the stability and progress of the region’s states and count loss in human lives and economic devastation among their consequences. Sectarian conflicts are not exclusive to the Muslim world; the Christian West and Hindu-Sino […]