What Do Iranian Human Rights Activists Want from the West?

NADER HASHEMI, 9 SEPTEMBER 2019 What do Iranian human rights activists want from the international community, the West in particular? What guidelines should be followed that can better support their heroic efforts? As someone who has written on the topic and spent considerable time studying the topic, reading their statements, and interviewing some prominent voices, […]

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We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria

WENDY PEARLMAN, 2 SEPTEMBER 2019 The war in Syria can seem bewilderingly complex. Over more than eight years, a dozen states supported hundreds of rival groups that competed on the ground in a kaleidoscope of shifting alliances and rivalries. A web of sectarian tensions, economic interests, ideological clashes, and geopolitical jockeying overlay a fundamentally political […]

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Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism

Interview with MOHAMMAD HASSAN KHALIL, AUGUST 26, 2019 Mohammad Hassan Khalil recently wrote a well-received book, Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism. Having invited Dr. Khalil to Omaha to give a talk about his book and seen the great interest in my community about it, I wanted to have an extended interview with him about the […]

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The Perils of Religious Politics in Turkey

RAMAZAN KILINÇ, 7 MAY 2019 On May 6, Turkey’s Higher Electoral Council canceled the mayoral elections in Istanbul and ordered the rerun of the race on June 23. This decision wiped away the humiliating defeat of the governing Justice and Development Party in Istanbul. Turkey had already been in the path to authoritarianism under the presidency […]

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The Limits of an anti-Iran Alliance in the Middle East

RAMAZAN KILINÇ, 14 FEBRUARY 2019 In January 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a Middle East tour with the goal of forming an alliance that could contain Iran in the region. He vowed to “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria and decrease Iran’s role in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. For observers of […]

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A Century of Western Meddling in the Middle East: A Backgrounder

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 18 JANUARY 2019 Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Egypt and gave a speech at American University in Cairo. Secretary Pompeo criticized President Obama’s foreign policy in the region by referring to his famous speech, “A New Beginning,” given in Cairo after he became the president in 2009. He blamed Obama of retreating American presence […]

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Muslims Should Reclaim Religion from the State

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 23 NOVEMBER 2018 On October 19, Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca and the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, delivered a sermon and declared the Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman as a renewer of religion whom all Muslims should obey. This move was in reaction to the […]

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Why Do Former Victims Become New Oppressors?

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 14 NOVEMBER 2018 On 12 November 2018, the Amnesty International withdrew its most prestigious human rights prize from Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s chief of government, accusing her of perpetuating human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority. In the past, Suu Kyi was put on house arrest for several years by the military regime […]

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Turkish Islamism 2.0: Hegemonic, Nationalist, and Populist

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 30 AUGUST 2016, BERKLEY FORUM If it had succeeded, the July 15 coup would have turned Turkey into a military authoritarian regime. It might have even led Turkey into a spiral of violent political instability for several years to come. The failure of the coup saved Turkey from a possible military authoritarianism and […]

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Turkey: from Conservative Democracy to Popular Authoritarianism

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 5 DECEMBER 2015, OPEN DEMOCRACY On Sunday, November 1, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained its majority in the parliament, winning the 49 percent of the votes. The party secured 317 seats in a 550-member parliament to continue its single-party government for another term, after losing it in the June 7 elections. Despite […]

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