Middle East and North Africa News
Sep 28, 2012
The leaders of Islamist governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia have condemned attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates in reaction to the offensive “Innocence of Muslims” film. In public statements and private contacts with American officials, all three leaders assured the United States that the assaults did not reflect government policy or public opinion among the majority in their countries. Each of them blamed small groups of extremists.
Sep 24, 2012
On Sept. 24, Gallup released a poll showing that U.S. approval in the Middle East was already waning before the “Innocence of Muslims” film provoked widespread anti-U.S. demonstrations. The organization surveyed 12 countries between January and May 2012. All together about 20 percent of adults approved of the U.S. leadership’s “job performance.”
Sep 14, 2012
On Sept. 14, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for restraint in reaction to “The Innocence of Muslims” movie. The amateur film’s offensive portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed has prompted protests in more than a dozen countries in the region since Sept. 11. Erdogan condemned the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Sep 14, 2012
On Sept. 13, Gallup released a poll showing that 95 percent of surveyed Libyans want militias to turn in their weapons immediately. Gallup conducted more than 1000 face-to-face interviews with adults during March and April 2012.
Sep 13, 2012
On Sept. 5, the International Monetary Fund published a report on Tunisia’s post-uprising economic and social challenges. Tunisia’s economic prospects are now improving due to increased government spending and tourism revenues. But unemployment remains high at 19 percent overall and more than 40 percent among youth.
Sep 11, 2012
Three years after Facebook launched an Arabic interface, charismatic Muslim sheikhs are gaining a new generation of followers by tapping into interactive media. Since 2009, hundreds of 21st century preachers have created digital forums that allow distant audiences to communicate with them—and with each other. Tweets and Facebook updates keep the faithful engaged with Islamic content even if they miss their favorite sheikh’s television program.
Sep 07, 2012
In just ten weeks, President Mohamed Morsi has gone from political unknown to one of the most powerful leaders in the Middle East. The U.S.-educated engineer—a former parliament member and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council—is proving to be both unpredictable and politically savvy.
Aug 24, 2012
In this chapter from The Iran Primer, Haleh Esfandiari provides an historical overview of the women's movement in Iran.
Aug 23, 2012
“Iran is reverting to the failed policies of the past,” says Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari in a Q&A on the decision of 36 Iranian universities to limit access to or altogether bar women from certain academic fields.
Aug 21, 2012
Not all Islamist political parties are to be feared, but an extremist strain called the Salafis have a warped vision of a new order in the Middle East, writes Robin Wright in The New York Times.