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Tag Archives: Shia

Ashura rituals stir controversy among Shiites

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — Each year, as they commemorate Ashura, the Shiites debate whether certain rituals are permissible. Some of those rituals are violent, such as Tatbir and hitting oneself with chains practices that harm one’s body and distort the revolution and objectives of Imam …

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Glimmers of a Future in Iraq?

by Graham E. Fuller*– Iraqi politics are in turmoil—nothing new here. Not surprisingly, the post-invasion order is taking a long time to shake down, given the destruction of the old. Entirely new relationships had to be forged under the new, radically changed environment. What Iraq requires above all is the …

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The History of An-Najaf

THE LEVANT NEWS– BY Dr. Haytham Mouzahem — An-Najaf city is located southern of Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Including the shrine of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (599-661 CE), the Shia’ called it the city of ”An-Najaf al-Ashraf” which means the holy city of An-Najaf. Imam Ali …

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Is Saudi Arabia on a hazardous adventure?

The Levant News — by Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, Washington — At great risk, Saudi Arabia confronts Iran in rhetoric and on the battlefield in Syria and Yemen. The National Council on US-Arab Relations, NCUSAR, is an established Washington intercultural agency focused on Arab Gulf interests. This year’s Iran meeting (October 14-15) was the 24th …

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Does Iran Control Iraq?

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com– Saudi, Israeli and US neoconservative voices warn us tirelessly that Iran’s imperial sway has now come to dominate the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and now Yemen, and still threatens Bahrain. Analytically speaking such views are not just exaggerated, but misleading and dangerous, …

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The Shiite Religious Authority of Najaf

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem — The hawza (seminary) in Najaf, which consists of religious schools where Shiite clerics are trained, was founded by the most prominent Shiite religious scholar, Sheikh Muhammad al-Tusi, in 1028 — even though some tend to believe that the hawza was established in Najaf decades before …

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Saudis Warm to Muslim Brotherhood, Seeking Sunni Unity on Yemen

Shiite nemesis Iran seen as greater threat to kingdom By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — Ever since the Arab Spring began four years ago, Saudi Arabia waged a two-front campaign against its Shiite nemesis Iran, and against the Sunni Islamists—led by the Muslim Brotherhood—whose rise across the …

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Iran’s shallow influence in Yemen

By Maysaa Shuja al-Deen – Translator: Pascale Menassa – Source: Al-monitor.com Ever since Sanaa fell into the hands of the Houthis on Sept. 21, 2014, Iranian officials have been rejoicing with their new victory in Yemen, which they consider a new land to spread their influence. The most popular statement …

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Why does ISIS hate Shi’a?

By Graham E. Fuller Published first on Graham Fullet’s Blog – ISIS has particularly targeted Shi’a as a key part of their brutal onslaught against any practice of Islam that does not conform to their narrow ahistorical interpretation view of their religion. We hear a lot from western commentators about …

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Understanding Hizbullah in Lebanon

By Justin Salhani for the Media Line – [Beirut] — In American policy making circles, the name Hizbullah cuts a shadowy figure of a radical Islamist terrorist group, hell-bent on Israel’s destruction. Hizbullah, which translates to “Party of God,” describes itself as a Shiite-Muslim political and social movement that first …

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Bahrain and Islamist Extremists

By Ala’a Shehabi for Foreign Policy – summarized by Julia Lugovska – After the recent uprisings in Bahrain Bahraini government was working on confronting and crushing pro-democracy activists, but what about the supporters and followers of the Islamic State? IS becomes very active in their online and video campaigns, trying …

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Turkey and KSA continuous challenges

THE LEVANT –  By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh – Across the region, some of the more stable countries continue to face political and military challenges. Of particular note at this point in time is Turkey and Saudi Arabia, for very different reasons. Turkey is currently mired in a dilemma triggered …

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Our Friends in Riyadh

By Toby C.Jones  for www.jacobinmag.com –   Last Wednesday, a criminal court in Saudi Arabiasentenced Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, one of the kingdom’s most visible political dissidents, to death. Saudi authorities have justified the verdict in terms of national security. Convicted on vague charges of sedition, Al-Nimr was tried in …

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Many Iranians want military to intervene against Isis

Revolutionary Guards in Tehran raise their fists in support of Supreme Leader’s order for the country’s armed forces to take measures against the Taliban in Afghanistan, 15 September 1998. Photograph: Atta Kenare/EPA The Guardian – Tehran Bureau correspondent Merila, 30, has no love for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but …

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