Islam

Russian Hackers: The shadowy world of US and Gulf hacks just got murkier

July 17, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. The covert Qatar-United Arab Emirates cyberwar that helped spark the 13-month-old Gulf crisis that pits a Saudi-United Arab Emirates-led alliance against Qatar may have just gotten murkier with the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mr. Mueller’s indictment provided detail on website…

Xinjiang: Pan-Turkism fuels China’s hearts-and-minds campaign

July 13, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Chinese efforts to woo Saudi Arabia’s ethnic Chinese community highlight the People’s Republic’s effort to avert criticism from the Muslim world of its crackdown in the north-western province of Xinjiang and strengthen relations with the kingdom and Middle Eastern nations. The efforts to woo a community, a significant…

Whither Wahhabism?

July 9, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman could well dash expectations that he is gunning for a break with Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism rather than a shaving off of the rough edges of Wahhabi ideology that has been woven into the kingdom’s fabric since its founding more than eighty years ago.…

Saudi religious diplomacy targets Jerusalem

July 3, 2018

By James M. Dorsey     A United Arab Emirates-backed Saudi effort to wrest control from Jordan of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem signals a sharper, more overt edge to Saudi religious diplomacy and the kingdom’s quest for regional hegemony that risks deepening divides in the Muslim world.     The effort also serves to…

The Middle East: History threatens to repeat itself

July 1, 2018

By James M. Dorsey If the notion that history repeats itself is accurate, it is nowhere truer than in the Middle East where the international community, caught by surprise by the 2011 popular Arab revolts, has reverted to opting for political stability as opposed to sustainability, ignoring the undercurrents of change wracking the Middle East.…

Shooting oneself in one’s own foot: Pakistan’s failed effort to evade terrorism finance listing

June 29, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. The Pakistani government’s removal of a virulently anti-Shiite militant from its terrorism list at the very moment that an international money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog was deciding to put the country on a watchlist highlights Pakistan’s struggle to come to grips with militancy. The decision by the…

Indonesian Muslim leader signals global shifts in meetings with Pence and Netanyahu

June 23, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Yahya Staquf, a diminutive, soft-spoken leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim movement, and Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s advisor on religious affairs, has held a series of meetings in recent weeks that reflect the Muslim world’s shifting attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinians and a re-alignment of…

Israel adopts abandoned Saudi sectarian logic

June 17, 2018

By James M. Dorsey Amid ever closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Israel’s military appears to be adopting the kind of sectarian anti-Shiite rhetoric that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is abandoning as part of a bid to develop a national rather than a religious ethos and promote his yet to be defined form of…

Saudi effort to isolate Iran internationally produces results

June 8, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Saudi efforts to isolate Iran internationally are producing results in North Africa and Central Asia. Authorities and religious leaders in Tajikistan and Algeria have in recent weeks accused Iran of subversive activity and propagating Shiism while Morocco last month announced that it was breaking off diplomatic relations with…

Mahathir’s reforms could put Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the spot

June 1, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Mahathir is adopting policies that could reshape the Southeast nation’s relations with powerful Gulf states. A series of anti-corruption measures as well as statements by Mr. Mahathir and his defense minister, Mohamad (Mat) Sabu, since this month’s upset in elections that ousted…