Islam and Religion

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Saudi Nationalism Raises Hopes of Greater Shia Inclusion

The April 15 Arab League meeting in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia earned the name “the Jerusalem summit” due to the strong support Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and assembled Arab delegates declared for the Palestinian capital.

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Mohammed bin Salman’s Plan to Moderate Islam in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) announced that his country would “return to moderate Islam.”

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Qatar Crisis Stirs Islamic Debates

One of the key aspects of the ongoing Gulf crisis, which pits a quartet of countries composed of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt against Qatar, is the attempt to denounce Qatar and its leadership over its support of Islamist activist and jihadist networks.

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Why Did Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Go to Iraq?

Saudi Arabia’s national interests in Iraqi domestic politics, and their impact on regional dynamics, have never been that far from the surface.

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The Changing Islamist Landscape of the Gulf Arab States

Independent political movements, Islamist or otherwise, are often overlooked in the Gulf Arab states that benefit from substantial incomes due to oil wealth.

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The Legacy of Muhammad Sorour, Key Figure in Rise of Sunni Extremism

The death of Muhammad Sorour at age 80 in Qatar has gone almost entirely unremarked upon in the West, but arguably signals the end of an era for Sunni Muslim religious extremism.

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Turkey’s Role in Mosul Prompts Reassurance and Anxiety in the Gulf

Few outside forces that are not directly involved in the conflict in Iraq have more at stake in the outcome of the battle over Mosul than Gulf Arab countries.

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Arab Gulf States Wary of Iran’s Role in the Battle for Mosul

As the battle to drive the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant out of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, is waged by Iraqi government troops, supported by an array of Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni forces, concerns about growing Iranian influence in Iraq are rising.

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Who Is Sunni?: Chechnya Islamic Conference Opens Window on Intra-Faith Rivalry

In a week filled with news stories on the mounting theological-political spat between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the intra-Sunni geopolitical rivalry is heating up as well.

Saudi Arabia’s Struggle for Sunni Leadership

Saudi Arabia’s decision to limit the authority of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV)—barring it from chasing, arresting, or interrogating suspects—was positively welcomed by commentators as an attempt “to respond to [public] grievances.” In response to gross violations committed by members of CPVPV, locals have called repeatedly to reform the institution, for example suggesting checking its authority by developing a protocol to describe the specific public offenses that are considered vices.

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Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.

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