Feb 27, 2013
The rise of Islamist parties in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings took most by surprise, including in some cases the Islamist parties themselves, which were more successful than they dared to hope. But the success of Islamist parties, coupled with the disarray of the secular opposition, augurs poorly for democracy.
Feb 25, 2013
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) offers a moderate political model that may be attractive to Arab Islamists, according to a new report by The Brookings Institution. The AKP promotes Islamic values without seeking to establish an Islamic state by embracing “passive secularism.” Islamist parties in Tunisia and Morocco are already close to the AKP model, since neither party calls for a constitutional reference to Sharia, or Islamic law.
Feb 14, 2013
Tunisians want their government to focus on employment, economic development and security, according to a new poll by The International Republican Institute. Some 77 percent of respondents said Tunisia is moving in the wrong direction.
Feb 14, 2013
Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party leading Tunisia’s coalition government, has prudently managed radical religious groups through dialogue, persuasion and co-optation, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group. But the recent assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid has thrown the country into a crisis, and raised the threat of violence.
Feb 07, 2013
Qatar has seized the opportunity of the Arab uprisings to expand its influence across the region. It moved into the vacuum after the revolutions caught the United States and other major powers by surprise. Despite its small size, it now aspires to a play a leading role in Arab politics.
Feb 06, 2013
In early February, Human Wrights watch released its new World Report. The following are excerpts from chapters on Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen.
Jan 30, 2013
Al Qaeda and its affiliates may exploit the limited ability of new Arab governments to control their territory, according to the United States Institute of Peace's Dan Brumberg. Now the organization and its affiliates have no incentive to directly challenge the new governments. But they are likely establishing local cells that could pose a security threat.
Jan 29, 2013
The second in an NPR series on ultra-conservative Salafis, the new political force in the Middle East, focuses on Tunisia.
Jan 16, 2013
The second anniversary of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution reflected the deepening political divisions across the North African country. Five different political factions—two Islamist and three secular parties—took to the street of Tunis on January 14 to mark the ouster of former President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali. They had starkly different messages.
Jan 03, 2013
In 2013, millions of Israelis, Iranians, and Arabs will vote in at least 10 pivotal elections that will, in turn, address basic issues facing the Middle East. These countries have vast political, religious, ethnic, and economic differences. But most confront a common trend—the rise of the right or the religious right—that will influence elections as well as policies both at home and in the broader region.