The Shi’i clergy and perceived opportunity structures: political activism in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon
During the last four decades, the Middle East has witnessed the rise of Shi’i political activism, through the direct engagement of clerical elites in socio-political arenas. With the re-emergence of activism on the part of Shi’i mujtahids and its impact on the ascent of Shi’i community in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, scholars have defined a distinct strategic difference between what they characterise as ‘quietist’ and ‘activist’ Shi’i mujtahids.
Annual report of Anti-Shiism around the Globe This report reflects investigative work Shia Rights Watch staff undertook in 2018 Shia Rights Watch 2018 Annual Report_2 Size: 1.37 mb Format : PDF Preview Introduction Parallel to the rise of coverage of the Shia identity came to an increased need for recognition for the dynamics of …
Special issue of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (19/1, April, 2019) on the ‘Nexus between Sectarianism and Regime Formation in a New Middle East’.
Edited by Morten Valbjørn and Raymond Hinnebusch
This special issue of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism (vol 19,1) explores the nexus between sectarianism and regime formation in a ‘new Middle East.’
More specifically, it examines a) how sectarianism impacts on the trajectories of different types of regime over time (with the main – but not exclusive – focus being on their location along the authoritarian/democratic continuum), b) whether different kinds of regime dilute or inflame sectarian identities and animosities, c) whether the study of regime formation in a sectarian context requires distinct analytical tools, or whether we can stick to the already existing approaches from the (post)democratization tradition.
All articles of the special issues examine how sectarianism and regime formation/type might be inter-related, though in different ways: they cover different regime types (authoritarian republics, monarchies, and semi-democracies), both Shia- and Sunni-majority countries, countries with and without a Shia/Sunni schism at home, and geographical areas ranging from the Gulf to the Levant, and in addition to these intra-regional comparisons the Middle East is moreover compared with other regions. The studies also differ in their methodology, ranging from a large-N study to comparative snapshots of similar dynamics in several country cases in order to test and demonstrate issues such as the relative power of sectarianism, and longitudinal case studies showing the interaction of sectarian configurations and regime change over time.
The special issue is linked to the interdisciplinary research project SWAR: Sectarianism in the Wake of the Arab Revolts at Aarhus University (www.ps.au.dk/swar).
Morten Valbjørn and Raymond Hinnebusch Exploring the Nexus between Sectarianism and Regime Formation in a New Middle East: Theoretical Points of Departure
Lasse Lykke Rørbæk Religion, Political Power, and the ‘Sectarian Surge’: Middle Eastern Identity Politics in Comparative Perspective
Raymond Hinnebusch Sectarianism and Governance in Syria
Adham Saouli Sectarianism and Political Order in Iraq and Lebanon
Courtney Freer The Symbiosis of Sectarianism, Authoritarianism, and Rentierism in the Saudi State
Hasan Hafidh and Thomas Fibiger Civic Space and Sectarianism in the Gulf States: The Dynamics of Informal Civil Society in Kuwait and Bahrain beyond State Institutions
Morten Valbjørn What’s so Sectarian about Sectarian Politics? Identity Politics and Authoritarianism in a New Middle East
The Diversification of the Muslim Community in St. Petersburg in the 2010s in: Journal of Religion in Europe Volume 11 Issue 2-3 Year 2018
Through the intensification of migration, the number of Muslims has multiplied in ethnically Russian areas, including St. Petersburg. Within the heterogeneous Muslim community of the city, countless new communities and initiatives have emerged, but they increasingly face suspicions and restrictions from the authorities.
The spectre of sectarianism haunts the Middle East. It is blamed for chaos, conflict, and extremism. It defines what is seen as the region’s principal fault line: Sunni versus Shiite. It has the power and elegance of a grand theory that seemingly explains all.
In addition to the posting on 31.12.18, see also
and, on a Sunni ruling in Iraq
Iraq’s grand Sunni mufti forbids participation in New Year’s celebrations
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Shia rights violations continued in November. Anti-Shia incidents were witnessed in some countries. Most violation reports are from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Anti-Shia violations, including but not limited to, imprisonment, physical and emotional torture, limited or no access to medical assistance, hate speech, explosion, and executions.
Clerics and other religious figures from Najaf’s Hawza Illmiya, a prominent Shiite seminary, have launched the Dialogue for Social Cohesion in Iraq, a community cooperation initiative reaching out to western and northern Sunni governorates recently liberated from the Islamic State (IS). In the first phase of the initiative, a delegation from Najaf visited Anbar University Jan.
What factors make a community resilient to sectarianism? How can communities recover from sectarianism and associated violence? How can the international community promote resilience to sectarianism? Sectarianism has become a destructive feature of the modern Middle East.