Islamists are Coming
Mainstream Islamist movements across the Arab world have struggled to close the gap — or, really, even define the gap — between religious ideals and the mundane realities of everyday politics.
Hezbollah has shown that will back Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime by any means necessary, according to a new International Crisis Group report. The Lebanese Shiite militia has helped the regime fight the Syrian opposition at least since mid-2012.
Some 72 percent of Egyptians are dissatisfied with their country’s direction, according to a new Pew Research poll. Nearly a year after President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, about 54 percent of Egyptians prefer a stable government while 44 percent prefer a democratic one.
In Yemen, unlike in most other Arab countries, Sunni Islamists have had more than a decade of experience in politics, according to a U.S. Institute of Peace report.
A majority of Tunisians, 51 percent, believe Islamic principles should be considered when making policy or law, according to a new survey by the International Republican Institute.
The United States and Saudi Arabia appear to have different visions for solving the Iranian nuclear dispute. Saudi Arabia, much like Israel, wants Iran to relinquish its uranium enrichment capabilities or at least cap enrichment at 5 percent – far below weapons grade, or 90 percent. But the United States and the other five major world powers negotiating with Iran may be open to allowing Tehran to keep limited enrichment capabilities.
Roughly seven-in-ten or more in six Middle East countries think belief in God is essential to morality, according to a new Pew Research Center study. More than 90 percent of those surveyed in Egypt in Jordan agree.
On March 9, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization along with several Islamic militias fighting the Syrian regime. Both the Brotherhood and the kingdom espouse conservative Sunni interpretations of Islam. But Riyadh has long opposed the Brotherhood for its condemnation of monarchical rule.
To mark International Women’s Day, the Wilson Center’s Middle Program asked 42 women from the Middle East and around the world to share their views on opportunities and obstacles facing women in 2014.