The early disputes between al-Shirazi family and Iran

Friday, 16 March 2018

We met with Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad al-Shirazi at a nondescript house in a narrow alley near the street of ChaharMardan in Qom in 1994. I was part of a group of men visiting from eastern Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the visit was to meet Shirazi, the controversial figure who at that time was under house arrest due to disputes between him and the Iranian authorities. Shirazi talked about the importance of writing and said it was important for the youth to read and spread intellectualism, as ...

Hassan Al Mustafa

On Lebanon’s parliamentary elections: A statelet is not destined

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Candidate nominations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon closed on Tuesday at midnight, where nominees compete to secure their spot in the 128 seats in parliament. What distinguishes these elections is that they be will be held after the current parliament, elected in 2009, extended its term twice. It’s thus been nine years since the last parliamentary elections were held. Note that the official parliamentary term in Lebanon is only four years. What also distinguishes this ...

Ali Al-Amin

Iranians protest in Iraq following arrest of prominent Shiite cleric

Thursday, 8 March 2018

A protest was held in front of the Iranian consulate in Karbala on Wednesday following the arrest of a prominent Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Sayyid al-Shirazi, by order of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.The dozens of protesters, including some Shiite clerics, chanted the slogan ‘death to the Vilayat-e-Faqih (the guardianship of the Islamic Jurist)’ and called for Shirazi’s immediate release while holding Iraq responsible for allowing Iran to arrest the Iraqi cleric.According to ...

Iraqis denounce anti-indecency edict in Shiite holy city

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Residents in Iraq’s Shiite holy city of Karbala have denounced a local decision that could soon see salesmen in trouble for displaying female mannequins in anything but Islamic clothing. Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and an important figure in Shiite Islam, is buried in Karbala. Posters warning against indecent behavior have been plastered around the city as part of the application of a 2012 provincial council decision to uphold its “holy character”, ...

Top Shiite cleric opposes disbanding of Iraq's Hashed militia

Friday, 15 December 2017

Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, on Friday opposed calls to disband a controversial paramilitary force which was instrumental in defeating the Islamic State group in the country. Iraq is “always in desperate need of heroic men who have backed up the army and federal police and who fought alongside them on different fronts”, said Abdel Mahdi al-Karabalai, the Ayatollah’s representative. “We need to continue to benefit from this important ...

Abadi’s fate in six months

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Last week, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said that he checked an electoral registration office in Baghdad and took his polling card.The announcement did not only aim to urge people to register and get their polling cards but also indicated that Abadi is determined to hold the upcoming elections scheduled after six months, mid-May of 2018, and run for a second premiership term.Abadi’s path to a second term is clear and it seems guaranteed. The supporting circumstances to ...

Adnan Hussein

Balanced words and a clear vision

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

I recently read a useful and rather unique article by Saudi writer and researcher Kamel al-Khati, the son of one of the most famous traditional Shiite clerics in eastern Saudi Arabia, the late Sheikh Abdul Hamid al-Khati. In his article, Kamel – a man I know to be wise – describes and analyzes a secular scientific trend. As far as I know, this man has never experienced an Islamicized Shiite faction of any sort. Published in Saudi newspaper Okaz, Kamel’s article was titled ...

Mashari Althaydi

Ashoura and the controversy among Saudi Shiites

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Ashoura rituals are no longer a religious ceremony, which Shiites mark across the world. It has become a topic for debate between different movements and groups.Citizens in Saudi Arabia observe Ashoura during the first 10 days of Muharram. Extensive preparations are made including several activities ranging from religious sermons, mourning, exhibitions, plays and blood donation campaigns. These events do not only reflect a religious duty but also express one’s desire to make an ...

Hassan Al Mustafa

Lebanese problem: Dominance of one state over the other

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Hezbollah failed to resolve its battle with the remnants of the Nusra Front in Arsal. The state intervened to save Hezbollah. General Abbas Ibrahim, the director of the official “public security “ apparatus, managed to enter into a fragile deal with the “Fatah al-Sham Front “, one of the armed factions of al-Nusra, to stop the fighting. Thanks to the state, the credibility of Major General Abbas is stronger than the credibility of Hezbollah. He must now complete the ...

Ghassan Imam

How Nazi Germany’s ethnic squads find parallel in Badr Organization

Friday, 7 July 2017

When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 it was a campaign of clear aims. To destroy Poland as a nation-state, eliminate all sources of potential leadership (civic leaders, professors, clergy, intelligentsia, landowners), annexed huge swathes of Poland to the German Reich, settled these newly claimed lands with ethnic Germans, and secured Germany’s Eastern front to prevent a second front opening while a campaign ensued with Great Britain and France. Germany was committed to a ...

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