Middle East and North Africa News

Muslim Brotherhood Statement on Islamic Law and National Identity

Nov 13, 2012
On October 31, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood announced, "We cannot in any way compromise in demanding to apply Sharia." Article 2 of the constitution already cites the "principles" of Sharia as the main source of legislation. But it does not define those principles. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood defined them as commandments mentioned in the Koran and instructions derived from the traditions of the Prophet Mohamed. The organization specified that only principles accepted by mainstream Sunni scholars should apply.

Former Interim Prime Minister of Libya Mahmoud Jibril at the Wilson Center

Nov 09, 2012
Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO at the Wilson Center, in a discussion with Mahmoud Jibril, Former Interim Prime Minister of Libya and Head of the National Forces Alliance.

Key Players in Turkey’s Justice and Development Party

Nov 09, 2012
On September 30, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party held its annual convention. Delegates reelected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his final term as party leader. The Washington Institute's new report draws on the convention results and examines changes in the moderate Islamist party's leadership.

Former Public Policy Scholar Barbara Slavin's exclusive interview with former interim Libyan PM, Mahmoud Jibril

Nov 09, 2012
Former interim Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril gives an exclusive interview to former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Barbara Slavin in Al Monitor.

Israeli Security: Has it Changed in the Wake of the Arab Spring?

Nov 07, 2012
Efraim Halevy, former Director of Mossad and one of Israel’s most preeminent strategic thinkers, provides his perspective on how sweeping changes throughout the region may be altering the security scenario for Israel and its allies.

Negotiating With Iran Part 1: Switzerland's Protecting Power Mandate

Nov 06, 2012
Iran's nuclear program continues to move forward. Israel and the United States have declared a nuclear Iran unacceptable. Negotiations have stalled while sanctions appear to be taking a toll on the Islamic Republic's economy. How will the standoff be resolved? Is a diplomatic solution possible or is a military confrontation inevitable? To gain insight into the possibility for diplomacy to prevail, we spoke with two veteran Iran experts with decades of direct experience in the diplomatic arena. First up is the Swiss Ambassador to the Islamic Republic. Because of Switzerland's role as "protective power" of the U.S. in Iran, Livia Leu Agosti has served as the diplomatic liaison between the countries since 2009.

Negotiating With Iran Part 2: A Matter of Trust

Nov 06, 2012
Iran's nuclear program continues to move forward. Israel and the United States have declared a nuclear Iran unacceptable. Negotiations have stalled while sanctions appear to be taking a toll on the Islamic Republic's economy. How will the standoff be resolved? Is a diplomatic solution possible or is a military confrontation inevitable? To gain insight into the possibility for diplomacy to prevail, we spoke with two veteran Iran experts with decades of direct experience in the diplomatic arena. John Limbert, one of the 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, shares his unique perspective on U.S.-Iran relations.

Blog Buzz: New Islamic TV Expands Across Mideast

Nov 05, 2012
Islamic television is increasingly popular and prevalent across the Middle East one year after Islamists began winning democratic elections. Even secular satellite channels are now broadcasting more religious content—and in better prime time slots. The satellite sheikhs vary widely, however. Indeed, the battle over defining Islam in a new political era is now being waged on television screens.

Turkey’s Popularity Slips in Mideast

Nov 05, 2012
Turkey’s standing in the Arab world and Iran has dropped noticeably over the past year according to a new poll by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV). In 2011, 78 percent of the 2,800 respondents had a positive view of Turkey. In 2012, it dropped to 69 percent. “Most of the participants think Turkey is the strongest political power in the region. They consider Saudi Arabia the strongest economic power and Iran the strongest military power,” said TESEV Foreign Policy Chairman Mensur Akgun at an Istanbul press conference.

Tunisia: Interview with Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi

Nov 02, 2012
Tunisia -- Robin Wright interviewed Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Ennahda Party, on the first anniversary of Tunisia’s first democratic elections. Ghannouchi reflected on the new Islamist spectrum, especially concern about the growing Salafi factor.

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