Dealing with Dictatorships: The Paradox of Great Power Support | Sean Yom

SEAN YOM, 15 MARCH 2021 During President Biden’s first month in office, the US raised the possibility that relations with Saudi Arabia would need “recalibration,” given its harrowing record of recent human rights violations. This move signaled a familiar scene that plays out in Washington whenever a non-democratic American ally commits egregious human rights abuses. […]

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Are Muslims to Blame for Islamophobia? | Turan Kayaoğlu

TURAN KAYAOĞLU, 6 APRIL 2020 On February 27, in the New York Times, Mustafa Akyol wrote that, “the justification of many terrible deeds in the name of Islam today, from terrorism to tyranny, from patriarchy to bigotry” is a cause of Islamophobia. He argues that the solution is “right there in the Quran”:  Muslims should […]

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What Do Iranian Human Rights Activists Want from the West? | Nader Hashemi

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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The Perils of Religious Politics in Turkey | Ramazan Kılınç

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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Muslims Should Reclaim Religion from the State | Ramazan Kılınç

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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