Film as a Political Tool: Tracing the History of Cinema in Iran

Film as a Political Tool: Tracing the History of Cinema in Iran Artistic Production In Iran When Ayatollah Khomeini declared that his reservation was against promiscuity, not film, the ban on cinema eased. The movies produced after the revolution, however, were distinct from their pre-revolutionary counterparts. Today, many Iranian cinemas have been critically acclaimed and […]

Why Lebanon’s Food Prices Are Through The Roof

Why Lebanon’s Food Prices Are Through The Roof An Overview This article will explore the context and impacts of food insecurity across Lebanon. Lebanon’s economic crisis is complex. Political instability obscures questions of accountability and who shapes future policy. Emerging black markets for cash and goods alike complicate an understanding of the economic lives of […]

New Israeli Government Coalition Comprised of Disparate Ideologies

This summer marked a historic transition in the Israeli government, as Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted from his position as prime minister after twelve years. Because Israel has no term limits, Netanayhu could have potentially maintained this position for much longer.  On June 13, 2021, Israeli parliament, the Knesset, voted 60-59 in favor of enacting a […]

What Has Happened Since the Supreme Court’s 2018 Affirmation of the Muslim Ban?

On June 29, 2019, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), NYU Washington, DC, Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), Justice for Muslims Collective (JMC), and the Arab American Institute (AAI) hosted a program to explore the history and impact of structural Islamophobia. One year earlier, on June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s ban on travel from several […]

Why Do Muslim Perpetrators of Ideologically-Motivated Violent Plots Receive Different Treatment than Non-Muslims?

Image capture from story on 2019 FBI booklet, "Homegrown Violent Extremist Mobilization Indicators," which identifies 46 behavioral signs that might demonstrate an individual’s likelihood of engaging in terrorist activity. The booklet focuses on foreign, Islamic extremist activities and organizations. Credit: FBI Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept AMERICAN COURTS TREAT Muslims differently, a study by the Institute for [...]

One Year of the Qatar Blockade

June 5th marked one year since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed relations with Qatar over its alleged support of terrorist organisations and close links to Iran. This included cutting off all air, sea, and land routes with Qatar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar maintains that there is "no legitimate justification" for [...]

Responses to the Supreme Court’s Executive Order “Muslim Ban” Decision

June 26, 2018 – The Supreme Court has upheld the Trump administration’s third “Muslim Ban” in a 5-4 ruling on the case of Trump v. Hawaii, which challenges the ban’s constitutionality. The case questions whether or not Trump’s proclamation restricting travel and immigration to the United States from certain countries violates the Establishment Clause, which […]

Who Thinks Muslim Leaders Should Condemn Terrorism? (Guest Column)

Following a terror attack bearing the hallmarks of ISIS or other such groups, it is now customary for Muslim leaders to issue public condemnations. Should that be the case? On the one hand, immediately condemning such acts preempts (and, ideally, prevents) any accusations of terrorist sympathies on the part of individual leaders and communities. On […]

Washington Post Profiles Wasted Generation of Gaza Stifled by Lack of Opportunity, Employment

In this republished article by journalists William Booth and Hazem Balousha, educated and unemployed Palestinians in their 20s discuss lives bereft of opportunity and hope. Nearly 60 percent of young Gazans are unemployed and most would leave if it were possible. With few stable job prospects and no escape, many have resorted to occasional odd […]

Arab and Muslim Ban 3.0: What You Need to Know (Re-post)

ADC (The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee) has released valuable practical information on the details of the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban targeting six Muslim majority countries. Notably, they offer resources to those, including students, who are or might be affected by the executive order. If you or a loved one will be traveling to […]

A Closer Look at the Presidential Election in Iran

On May 19th, Iranians return to the polls to select their next president. The much anticipated event has received a great deal of scrutiny from journalists and analysts who have been closely monitoring the candidates and their campaigns. Iran continues to play center stage in global politics due to concerns about its compliance with the [...]

Overview of the Turkey Referendum (Washington Post)

A poster of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the upcoming referendum, in Istanbul on March 27. (Emrah Gurel/AP) Learn more about Turkey’s constitutional vote taking place on Sunday that will shape this regional power’s future in this informative background guide. Leader Erdogan has been at the forefront of a global trend toward reactionary nationalism that […]

Turkish President Further Consolidates Power

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation on Thursday, May 6, 2016. Davutoglu’s resignation is the most recent in a string of concerted efforts by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate power in the Turkish presidency. Various internal and external factors, such as security threats from the PKK and ISIS, a refugee crisis from […]

Islamic State’s Gruesome Muslim Death Toll

Journalist and comedian, Dean Obeidallah, reaches beyond the headlines detailing the horrific treatment by the Islamic State of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. Here he discusses the Islamic State's impact on fellow Muslims in response to a September report drafted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the [...]

Voices of the Egyptian Revolution

This in-depth profile looks at key participants in the 2011 Egyptian uprisings as well as the first post-Mubarak presidential election candidates. In addition, you will find a few contemporaneous articles that demonstrate the impassioned atmosphere at that time. Asmaa Mahfouz Asmaa Mahfouz was born on February 1st, 1985. She graduated from Cairo University with a BA [...]

Learn About the Negotiations that Led to the Iran Nuclear Agreement

The highly contested negotiation talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) over the former's nuclear program resulted in a tentative framework for an eventual agreement. These discussions have been on the center stage of the global community whose concerns over regional security have elicited a [...]

The Algerian Exception to the 2011 Uprisings

How Did Algeria Differ in the Arab Spring Revolts? In 2011, starting with the self-immolation of Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, a wave of revolutions and protests swept across the Arab world. This series of protests and revolutions are popularly referred to as the “Arab Spring.” Almost every single Arab country participated in the Arab […]

A Review of Relations Between Israel and Egypt

Egypt’s relationship with Israel is complex and has changed considerably over the years. Like all other Arab countries, Egypt protested Israel’s creation at the expense of Palestine. Egypt refused to recognize the state of Israel until 1979. Egypt and Israel have engaged in four wars, the instigators varying from war-to-war. Today, they cooperate extensively, mainly […]

A Closer Look: The Origins and Evolution of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwayn al-Muslimun) is the oldest and most influential Islamist organization in Egypt, most recently in the news when party member, Mohammed Morsi, became Egypt’s first democratically elected president. The Brotherhood’s legacy reaches back to 1928 when it was founded by Hasan al-Banna. Banna, an imam, (Muslim religious officiant or leader) formed the […]

A History of Islamist Movements in Algeria

Algeria’s history and identity is rooted in Islam. Cultural practices, even under French rule, were strongly Islamic. In fact, though Algeria established a secular state following its independence, much of its resistance was couched in Islamic rhetoric and ideals. Revolutionaries would often refer to their struggle against the French as a “jihad,” and those fallen […]

Regional Spotlight and Explainer: the Western Sahara Dispute

Spotlight on the Western Sahara Dispute The ongoing conflict discussed here between the Kingdom of Morocco and the people of the little known Western Sahara is not mentioned in high school textbooks and is not a prominent story mentioned in media, if it is even addressed at all. On occasion the dispute will gain attention, […]

What Does Donald Trump’s Rise in US Politics Mean for the Middle East?

From the Middle East Policy Council comes this exploration of opinions of the effects of a potential Trump presidency on the Middle East. How realistic are his proposed policies? U.S. presidential elections have consequences beyond the borders of the United States of America, making the campaign season a focus for observers and commentators abroad. In […]

A Selection of Viewpoints on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Middle East Policy Council has tackled numerous subjects from defense cooperation and foreign policy in the Middle East to humanitarian crises and hot topic issues like the Iranian nuclear negotiations at its quarterly Capitol Hill Briefings series and in the Middle East Policy Journal. One frequently addressed interest is the Arab-Israeli conflict, which continues to fester without much prospect of a resolution, though not for lack of trying. Here are some transcripts of talks given at MEPC Capitol Hill forums on the Arab-Israeli conflict to show how the climate and conversation differs among specialists and continues to evolve over time.

Explore the Global Security Matrix Tool

Global Security Matrix Tool What makes us feel safe?  Is the definition of security universal or does it differ from country to country?  These are some of the questions the new online Global Security Matrix tries to answer. Developed by the well-respected Choices Program, an education program about history and current issues based at Brown University, the Global [...]

Thomas Jeffererson and the Qu’ran

In 2006, Keith Ellison became the first Muslim elected to Congress. He took the oath of office on a Qu’ran from Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. This prompted Denise A. Spellburg to write a book on the subject titled Thomas Jefferson’s Qu’ran: Islam and the Founders, published in 2013. In a podcast hosted by Joan Neuberg at the University of Texas at Austin, Neuberg and Spellburg delve into how Thomas Jefferson’s interest in the Qu’ran began and the different ways in which it influenced him.

Ted Talk on Fighting Extremism

Anti-extremist activist Maajid Nawaz was once, in fact, an Islamist extremist himself. This TED talk looks at why transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold. He calls for new grassroots stories and global social activism to spread democracy in the face of nationalism and xenophobia.

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East since the 19th Century

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East since the 19th Century © 2004, Mohamed El Mansour In this article the influential Moroccan historian provides a history of the role of the United States in the Middle East and North Africa. The essay provides an excellent introductory survey, beginning with the recognition of the young American [...]

Amb. Chas W. Freeman, Jr. Talks about the U.S.’ Misaligned Objectives in the Middle East

The following is an edited transcript of remarks by Chas W. Freeman, Jr. to the Middle East Policy Council's 71st conference on Capitol Hill about U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine.  Ambassador Freeman is the president of Projects International and the former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Over the past half-century or so, the United States [...]