Religion News

Al Nusra Front: Syria’s Top Islamist Militia

Jan 09, 2013
On January 8, the Quilliam Foundation released a new strategic briefing on the Al Nusra Front (Jabhat al Nusra), a powerful rebel group fighting the Syrian regime. The report warned that the hard-line Islamist group is linked to al Qaeda, seeks to create a new jihadist umbrella movement in Syria and ultimately create a caliphate.

In 2013, Rise of the Right in Elections Across the Mideast

Jan 03, 2013
In 2013, millions of Israelis, Iranians, and Arabs will vote in at least 10 pivotal elections that will, in turn, address basic issues facing the Middle East. These countries have vast political, religious, ethnic, and economic differences. But most confront a common trend—the rise of the right or the religious right—that will influence elections as well as policies both at home and in the broader region.

European Studies Short-term and Summer Research Grant Competitions

Jan 02, 2013
European Studies is now accepting applications for two of its research grants - the short-term research grant and the summer research grant. Both stipends are available to American academic experts and practitioners, including advanced graduate students, engaged in specialized research requiring access to Washington, DC and its research institutions. Grants are for one and two months respectively, and include residence at the Wilson Center. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, in order to be considered eligible for this grant opportunity. The deadline for applying for both grans is March 1, 2013.

Middle East in 2013: Promise and (Lots of) Peril

Dec 18, 2012
The Middle East faces even bigger challenges in 2013 than it did during the first two years of the so-called Arab Spring. So far—a pivotal caveat—the Arab uprisings have deepened the political divide, worsened economic woes and produced greater insecurity. Solutions are not imminent either.

Has the Arab Spring Lived Up to Expectations?

Dec 18, 2012
On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Arab uprisings, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars asked 39 experts from the Middle East, Europe and the United States the following question: Has the Arab Spring lived up to expectations?

U.S. Intelligence: Pragmatic Future for Islamists

Dec 13, 2012
Islamists are likely to be “more market-oriented” and entrepreneurial in the future, according to a new report by the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” explores what the world could look like in the coming decades. The report predicts that Islam and other religions will play a larger role in global politics. But in the Middle East, “political pragmatism could trump ideology helped by a growing civil society that will begin to produce a new cadre of pragmatic, entrepreneurial and social leaders.” If pragmatists fail to improve the economy, hardline Islamists could gain popularity by offering a non-Western model, the report says.

Pew: Arab Publics Most Likely to Express Views Online

Dec 13, 2012
Arab social media users are more likely to express their opinions on politics, community issues and religion than others in Europe, Latin America, the United States and Asia, according to a new survey by Pew. In Egypt and Tunisia, more than 60 percent of surveyed users share their political and religious views online. Less than 40 percent of European and U.S. users share their political and religious views.

Facebook Sheikhs: Egypt

Dec 11, 2012
Egypt’s Facebook sheikhs reflect the growing diversity within Islam. The new tech-savvy sheikhs range from rock-star street preachers to Salafi populists. Even the old clerics are finding they have to be hip to keep their flocks. Their television shows, broadcast on popular satellite stations, compete for viewers—generating new rivalries over who controls the Muslim message.

Women after the Arab Awakening

Dec 11, 2012
Women played frontline roles in the Arab uprisings, but have since faced growing political hurdles during the transitions. Nine female activists from Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya outlined the specific challenges to women’s participation at a meeting sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in October 2012. They also offered strategies for empowering women.

Egypt’s Draft Constitution

Dec 03, 2012
Egypt’s Constituent Assembly passed a draft constitution on November 30. President Mohamed Morsi then announced a national referendum will be held on December 15. “I renew my call for opening a serious national dialogue over the concerns of the nation, with all honesty and impartiality, to end the transitional period as soon as possible, in a way that guarantees the newly-born democracy,” Morsi told the Constituent Assembly.

Pages