Militant Islam

Despite concerns, China sees a potential ally in Pakistan’s Imran Khan

July 30, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Pakistani prime minister-in waiting Imran Khan’s ability to chart his own course as well as his relationship with the country’s powerful military is likely to be tested the moment he walks into his new office. Pakistan’s most fundamental problems loom large and are likely to demand his immediate…

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.…

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…

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…

What to do with Pakistani militant Hafez Saeed? Pakistan and China grope for ambiguity

What to do with Pakistani militant Hafez Saeed? Pakistan and China grope for ambiguity

May 24, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Recent remarks by several senior Pakistani officials suggest that Pakistan and China are groping with how to deal with globally designated Pakistani militant Hafez Saeed as the South Asian nation gears up for elections expected in July and risks being next month put on an international terrorism finance…

Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister puts Pakistani military and China on the spot

Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister puts Pakistani military and China on the spot

May 16, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif kicked up a storm when he earlier this month seemingly admitted that Pakistan had supported militants who attacked multiple targets in Mumbai in 2008, killing 166 people. Mr. Sharif’s admission, which he has since tried to walk back, put a finger on…

Geopolitics magnify sustained political violence in Balochistan

Geopolitics magnify sustained political violence in Balochistan

April 27, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Twin attacks earlier this week on Pakistani security forces in the troubled province of Balochistan cast a light on a sustained and violent campaign against police and paramilitary units as well as Shiite and Christian minorities. The attacks by groups, some of which have had links to Pakistan’s…