April 30, 2016

THE BREAKING UP OF TURKEY’S ISLAMIC ALLIANCE: THE AKP-GULEN CONFLICT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR MIDDLE EAST STUDIES

Fethullah Gulen
(Source: http://www.fgulen.com)

Turkey’s Islamic movement increased its power dramatically during the first decade of the 2000s, benefiting from the cooperation of the AKP and the Gulen movement. This alliance allowed Islamic actors to control major state functions following several decades of struggle against secularist elites. Yet, to the surprise of most observers, the alliance began to fall apart in 2011 and quickly evolved into a fierce battle between the AKP government and the Gulenists.  Demonstrating how Islamic … [Read more...]

WHY THE ARAB SPRING FAILED: THE CULTURAL ROOTS OF THE ARAB PREDICAMENT, A REVIEW ESSAY OF TAREK HEGGY’S THE ARAB COCOON AND THE ARAB MIND BOUND

Arab Cocoon & Arab Mind

Click here for PDF Every year, life in the Arab Middle East gets worse for its inhabitants.  Tarek Heggy’s books The Arab Cocoon and The Arab Mind Bound (2011) argue that cultural factors are to blame.  With all eyes focused on the Arab Spring, his books did not receive the attention they deserved on publication.  They are worth revisiting today, because they help to explain why the Arab Spring failed.  Heggy argues that a “Bedouin model” of Islam spread wildly in recent decades with … [Read more...]

The Saudi-Iranian Proxy War in Yemen

jonathan-spyer

A briefing for the Middle East Forum on April 30, 2015. Click here to hear the audio file The current Houthi uprising is but the latest phase in a prolonged internecine strife. Having long suffered discrimination and marginalization by the central government, this Zaidi Shiite group, about forty percent of Yemen's population, capitalized on the massive upheavals sweeping across the region since 2011 to help topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In subsequent years the Houthis steadily … [Read more...]