DiscoverThe Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
Author: James M. DorseySubscribed: 30Played: 1,563
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Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and co-host of the New Books in Middle Eastern Studies podcast. James is the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog, a book with the same title as well as Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario and Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa.
All Mr. Mohamed wanted was a job and a marriage. A 22-year-old Somali farmhand, Mr. Mohamed, skeptically retorted, "is that right?" when Al Shabab recruiters sought to convince him that the defence of Islam needed him. "What I really need is a job and a wife,' Mr. Mohamed added. The farmworker was persuaded when the recruiters for one of Africa's oldest jihadist movements promised to find him a wife.
Bali Governor Puts Indonesia On The Spot
A refusal by the governor of Hindu-majority Bali to host an Israeli soccer team at this May’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup puts the Indonesian government, football association, and foremost Muslim civil society movement on the spot.
Arab Plan For Syria Puts US And Europe In A Bind
A push by Arab allies of the United States to bring Syria in from the cold highlights the limits of a Chinese-mediated rapprochement between the Middle East’s archrivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
A Chinese-mediated Saudi-Iranian reconciliation potentially casts a spotlight on fundamentally flawed security policies of regional powers, including not only the kingdom and Iran but also the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Sports Blitz Encounters Headwinds
Saudi Arabia's sports blitz is encountering headwinds.
Saudi Iranian Détente Potentially Sparks Paradigm Shifts
Chinese mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran potentially signals paradigm shifts in Middle Eastern diplomacy and alliances.
Reform of Islamic jurisprudence was the elephant in the room when two prominent Saudi clerics recently clashed publicly on whether apostasy was punishable with death under Islamic law. The debate's timing on a Saudi state-controlled, artsy entertainment channel, Rotana Khalijiya, suggested as much.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become adept at walking tightropes. Mr. Bin Salman's latest balancing act may be among his most challenging.
Iran Upgrades Perceptions Of Saudi Threat
If there is one place Saudi Arabia was happy to be low on the totem pole, it was Iran. Those days are over. Strategic thinkers in Tehran have upgraded their perception of the threat posed by the kingdom
Gulf autocrats are trying to squash calls for reform of Islamic law with three Bahraini men on trial.
If played well, security is the United States trump card in stabilizing relations with its Gulf partners and competing with China for regional influence.
Even before it officially launched, Saudi Arabia's bid to host the 2030 World Cup is on thin ice. The bid suggests that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is determined to do whatever it takes to become a dominant force in international sports.
The United Arab Emirates has mastered playing both sides against the middle. In the game’s latest iteration, the Gulf state earned significant brownie points in Washington this week by withdrawing a draft United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity.
Hindu - Muslim Dialogue Progresses Cautiously
Many hold the RSS, a powerful grassroots organization with some six million members, responsible for the violence and explosion of anti-Muslim sentiment in India. Even so, most would agree that there may be no Hindu Muslim reconciliation without Muslim engagement with the RSS. Najeeb Jung, a prominent Muslim former civil servant and scholar, tells The Turbulent World why he initiated a dialogue with India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist movement in dialogue.
Taliban bans on women’s education and employment by foreign aid organisations operating in Afghanistan are having unintended consequences. The bans have sparked calls for reform of Muslim religious law in Saudi Arabia, a country that wields moral authority in the Muslim world because of its custodianship of Islam’s two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
India Could Be This Decade’s China
This could be India’s decade if it plays its cards right. The subcontinental state is poised to be the next China, even if its path will likely be less straightforward than that of China and more of a Leninist two steps forward, one step backwards.
If you think Islamic scholars discussing the religious legitimacy of the United Nations and the nation-state will put you to sleep, think again. A call by Nahdlatul Ulama or the Revival of Islamic Scholars, arguably the world's most moderate Muslim civil society movement, to anchor the nation-state as opposed to a caliphate and the United Nations in Islamic law is at the forefront of the ideological fight against extremism and jihadism as advocated by groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
A recent survey of Iranian public opinion suggests that the lack of confidence in a Middle Eastern regime is starkest in Iran, although crisis-wracked Lebanon, Egypt, or Syria may compete.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has put Israel’s closest allies and some of his key partners on the spot. So has a generation of Palestinian youth that has nothing to lose and no longer sees fruitless engagement with and acquiescence of the Jewish state as a means of realizing their national and socio-economic aspirations.
Shaping A 21st - Century World Order Amounts To A Patchwork
What do Moroccan arms sales to Ukraine, a transnational Russian Iranian transit corridor, and US assistance in developing a Saudi national strategy have in common? The answer is that they are smaller and bigger fragments of a 21st-century world order in the making that is likely to be bi-polar and populated by multiple middle powers with significant agency and enhanced hedging capabilities.