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The Perils of American Muslim Politics الهَدم والبناء الاستعماري في الجولان حقوق المثليين والمثليات محكّ لحقوق الإنسان بين المدرسة والمسجد نص للأديب
[Turkish riot police detained demonstrators who gather at Besiktas to support detained teachers Semih Ozakca and Nuriye Gulmen, in Istanbul on 23 May 2017. Image by Depo Photos/Press Association via openDemocracy.]

Fear and Loathing in Turkish Academia: A Tale of Appeasement and Complicity

It was a “call for papers” like all others. “On behalf of the Turkish Political Economy Society (TPES),” said the organizers of the Fifth TPES Interdisciplinary Workshop on Turkey and Latin America in Comparative Perspective, “we would be ...

[اللوحة للفنان العراقي قيس السندي]

الاغتيال والاختطاف في العراق: حقل التحريض المتسع

 لا توجد إحصائية دقيقة للاغتيالات والاختطاف في العراق. فالسلطات الرسمية لا تكترث كثيراً بأرشفة الاخبار السيئة التي تحدث يومياً، أما الصحافة فلا تعير أهمية أيضاً لمثل هذه الحوادث، وغالباً تتعامل معها إذا ما هزّ اغتيال او اختطاف الرأي ...

The Referendum in Turkey-A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Sinan Birdal

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Shahram Aghamir speaks with Sinan Birdal, who unpacks Turkey's constitutional referendum that passed on April 16. In a turbulent political environment where the soft and hard executive ...

[Tanks in the streets of Tehran in 1953. Image via Wilipedia]

Musaddiq’s Spectre: On the Recent Declassification of US Documents

Following the 1989 release of the first Iran-related volume of the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, a plethora of books and articles have been written detailing the MI6-CIA coup d’état in Iran on 19 ...

خرافات إقتصادية في خدمة الثورة المضادة [Economic Myths in the Service of the Counter Revolution]

[Egypt's Stock Market. Image by Mohamed Abd El Ghani, Reuters]

يحذرنا هؤلاء بعلو الصوت: مالم تتوقف الاعتصامات والاحتجاجات "التي تأخذ شرعيتها من معتصمي التحرير"، فإنه الدمار الاقتصادي الكامل: ستتوقف المصانع والأعمال ولن يتلقى العمال والموظفون أجورهم وستصير كارثة. ويعمل هذا التحذير-التهديد، الذي صرنا نسمع صيغا متعددة منه من سياسيين ورجال أعمال وإعلاميين من أنصار "تقديس الاستقرار" أيا كان، عمله على مستويين: الأول إثارة حالة من الذعر بين  المواطنين فيما يخص توفر السلع الغذائية على وجه الخصوص، ومن ثم خلق مركز ثقل سياسي يرفض الاحتجاجات الاجتماعية كعمل "تخريبي للاقتصاد". أما المستوى الثاني وهو الأهم، فهو وأد مطلب أساسي للثورة هو :العدالة الاجتماعية، وهو مطلب تنفر منه مصالح وأرباح كثيرين. والأكيد أن ...

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A Portrait of a Revolutionary: Hossam El-Hamalawy on the Role of the Egyptian Army (Part 2)

[Hossam El-Hamalawy. Image from Jadaliyya Interview]

Jadaliyya is hereby presenting the first installment in a interactive (see below) series called "A Portrait of a Revolutionary," featuring interviews with an Egyptian journalist and activist who was at the forefront of the Egyptian protest movement. Hossam's vantage point is quite unique, and his broad knowledge of the Egyptian political landscape as well as history positions him to provide an unparalleled account of the the context and developments that have led to the resignation of former Egyptian President, Husni Mubarak, and the aftermath. Below is the second part of the interview. I opted for presenting it first, however, because it is in ...

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عن الإستثناء المغربي [On the Moroccan Exception]

[Morocco Protest. Image from]

  لقد كان لافتا للنظر وجود حملة شرسة استعملت فيها كل الوسائل المتاحة من إعلام تقليدي وإلكتروني وكذلك الإعلام الفتاك الجديد ألا وهو سلاح الاعلام الإجتماعي للدفاع عن فكرة واحدة ووحيدة وهي الإستثناء المغربي. إذ يجب الاعتراف باختلاف المغرب كبلد وجغرافيا وتنوع ثقافي وتاريخي عن بقية البلاد العربية فإنه في نفس الوقت من الضروري مساءلة هذا الإستثناء في بعديه السياسي والإجتماعي. من الضروري مساءلة هذا الإستثناء على ضوء العوامل التي أدت إلى انفجار الثورات في البلدان العربية الأخرى. فإذا بين لنا التحليل العلمي الدقيق  انتفاء هذه الأسباب من البيئة السياسية والإجتماعية المغربية، فإننا سنكون سعداء بالإتفاق مع مروجي فكرة الإستثناء المغربي وسيكون جحوداً بل وكفراً بالوطن وقيمه ...

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Iraq Too?

[An Iraqi waving the Iraqi Flag at Tahrir Square. Image from unknown archive]

Many cast doubts that the lung through which Tunisia breathed freedom could give birth to kindred lungs in Arab lands to the east or west. Even after Egypt shook the earth to dethrone its last Pharaoh, doubts were cast again as to the mobility of the phenomenon. Then came Libya, which is on the verge of casting away its dangerously delusional and brutal despot. Tunisia is everywhere. The spirit of the mythical bird, al-Bouazizi, hovers, together with those of other martyrs, in every Arab sky, from Bahrain to Morocco and from Oman to Amman. They said that the flood would not reach Iraq. Its complex history and disastrous past and present kept it at a significant ...

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Yemen's Popular Uprising in Photos

[Image from Yemen Times]

“Thanks, Tunisia!  Congratulations Egypt!  You are the trailblazers of freedom.” The day after Tunisia’s leader fled his country on January 14, a group of Yemeni students at Sanaa University and members of Women Journalists Without Chains, led by Tawakul Karman, marched toward the Tunisian Embassy to show their support for the Arab world’s first popular uprising in 2011.  In recent years, leaders of the Yemeni opposition coalition known as the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) organized street protests in Sanaa and elsewhere around the country. As the wave of revolts spread from Tunisia to Egypt and other countries in the region, the JMP quickly announced ...

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The Arabs in Africa


As Libyans rise up against the 41-year-old dictatorship of Muammar al-Qaddafi, one of the most striking claims of state violence has been the hiring of “African mercenaries” to crush the revolt. Like Hosni Mubarak’s “thugs” (or baltagiya in Arabic, terms that gained widespread currency almost instantly), the mercenaries represent the anti-populist face of violence, those who are willing to take to the streets not for reasons of personal conviction or national duty, but for compensation from the embattled regime. The mercenaries and the thugs provide a contrast to the nonviolent, impassioned politics of the protesters. One point further distinguishes Qaddafi’s ...

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Emergencies and Economics: Algeria and the Politics of Memory

[The crest of the UGTA (The General Union of Algerian Workers)]

On February 24th the Algerian government lifted the state of emergency that has been operative in Algeria for almost two decades. Undoubtedly, this was a response to the changing political tides in the Middle East, as well as popular unrest in Algeria itself. While localized riots have been a common occurrence in the country since 2005, the start of 2011 has witnessed a wave of simultaneous protests in Algeria. On January 8th, the regime announced it would temporarily cuts taxes on sugar and cooking oil in an attempt to quell the protests. But that was before the Jasmine Revolution. After watching events in Tunisia, and then Egypt, Algerians were emboldened, taking ...

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"The Responsibility to Protect": Notes on Libya, Sovereignty, and the UN Security Council

[The UN Security Council in session. Image from]

I am writing on 27 February 2011, when there are calls for the international community to intervene, if necessary with violence, into Libyan affairs. Most recently, and “in a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage US intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.” Falling short of some expectations, and exceeding others, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution last night, on 26 February, imposing sanctions on Libya. “Considering that the widespread ...

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من يخاف من أحلام جعفر بناهي؟ [Who is Afraid of Jafar Panahi's Dreams?]

 [Jafar Panahi. Image from unknown archive]

 ست سنوات سجن وعدم مزاولة الإخراج لعشرين عاماً وعدم الاتصال بالصحفين هي بعض الأحكام الصادرة بحق المخرج الإيراني جعفر بناهي (ت. 1960) ومجموعة من زملاءه عن محكمة إيرانية في العشرين من ديسمبر الماضي. والتهمة المساقة هي تشويه صورة إيران والقيام بدعاية مغرضة ضد النظام. نظام يبدو أنه أفلس إلى هذه الدرجة فأصبح يخاف من أفلام بناهي التي تتناول بالدرجة الاولى قضايا إجتماعية. وكأن هذا النظام يريد أن يطلق رصاصة تغتال أحلام جعفر بناهي، الأحلام المستوحاة من الواقع، كما يقول في الرسالة التي وجهها إلى مهرجان البرليناله السينمائي (إنعقد بين  10-20 فبراير 2011). بدت إزابيلا روسوليني، رئيسة لجنة التحكيم الرئيسية في مهرجان هذا العام، تغالب دموعها وهي تقرأ رسالة المخرج الايراني ...

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الشعب هو الحل [The People are the Answer!]

[Image from unknown archive]

  لقد أدى سقوط النظام الديكتاتوري الذي بناه الرئيس التونسي السابق إلى حالة من النشوة في العالم العربي، ليس فقط لسقوط رئيس من أحسن تلاميذ الرأسمالية الدولية ومن أكثرهم شمولية واستبدادا ولكن أيضا لأن الشعب العربي وجد أخيرا المقولة السحرية التي ستحرره من الديكتاتورية ألا وهي:  "الشعب هو الحل". هذه النشوة، التي عاشها العالم العربي، قابلها موقف موحد وغريب في تناغمه بين الحكومات الغربية والأنظمة العربية. فإذا كانت الشعوب الغربية وخاصة المتعاطفين مع الحركات اليسارية مبتهجة بهذا الإنجاز فإن الأنظمة السياسية الغربية عموما عبرت عن نفاق واضح وتساوق لا مثيل له مع الجلاد في البداية ، ثم تنكرت له عندما أدركت أنه ساقط لا محالة. هذا النفاق الذي يأخذ شكل مواقف سياسية ...

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Libya's Significance

[Qaddafi. Image from FoxNews]

With the 42-year reign of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi coming to a seemingly inevitable end, it is worth reflecting on the significance and regional implications of his ouster. Perhaps most importantly, Qaddafi’s removal cannot but result in genuine regime change. Unlike Egypt or Tunisia, Libya does not possess autonomous state institutions or state-sponsored elites with the capacity to force out the leader in order to perpetuate their custodianship of the state. If Qaddafi falls – and absent foreign intervention – Libya’s power elite will either go down with him, or remain masters of institutions and networks that no longer exist, are shattered beyond repair or have lost ...

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Agency and Its Discontents: Between Al Saud's Paternalism and the Awakening of Saudi Youth


Public life has been calmer than usual in Saudi Arabia for the last month. Invigorated by the people’s revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt and anxious about the increasing violence in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, Saudis have been following the news obsessively, perhaps for the first time in a decade. Salon talk has also shifted to serious discussions of the less than ideal role the Saudi government has played in the historic regional developments we are witnessing today. Within these discussions, predictions of what will happen next in Saudi Arabia vary, but all agree that the future course of events rests on what King Abdullah will do upon his return. In this ...

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الخطة الشعبية المجربة لإسقاط الأنظمة المتجبرة [The Tested Popular Plan for Toppling Powerful Regimes]

 قد يكون أبلغ دروس الثورتين المصرية والتونسية أن ثورة شعبية سلمية، يشارك فيها عشرات الألوف أو مئاتها، هي ما يمكن أن تهدم هياكل سلطة باطشة كهذه القائمة في أكثر الدول العربية. لا يعدو هذا «الدرس» أن يكون تسجيلاً لما حصل بالفعل في البلدين. لكن هذا التسجيل لما هو عارض، مبدئيا، معقول وضروري وقابل للتعميم. أو هذا ما ستحاول هذه المقالة قوله. منذ سبعينيات القرن العشرين، وفي مناخات الحرب الباردة وما بعد هزيمة حزيران المهينة، استقرت في حكم البلدان العربية المركزية نخب سلطة لا قضية لها تسمو على البقاء الأبدي ...

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Teach-in: Democratization, Empire, & the Arab Revolt of 2011

In light of revolutions, or refo-lutions as captured by Jadaliyya contributor Asef Bayat, Jadaliyya teamed with the US Palestinian Community Network-DC to organize a teach-in targeting the progressive left community in the DC metro area. The teach-in entitled "Democratization, Empire, & the Arab Revolt of 2011" and held at St. Stephens Church in DC, featured Professors Mervat Hatem (Howard University), Noureddine Jebnoun (Georgetown University), Bassam Haddad (Georgetown University), and ...

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Paradoxes of Arab Refo-lutions

Serious concerns are expressed currently in Tunisia and Egypt about the sabotage of the defeated elites. Many in the revolutionary and pro-democracy circles speak of a creeping counter-revolution. This is not surprising. If revolutions are about intense struggle for a profound change, then any revolution should expect a counterrevolution of subtle or blatant forms. The French, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and Nicaraguan revolutions all faced protracted civil or international wars. The question is not if ...

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And the Late Night Comedians Shall Lead Us

For those of you lucky readers who are able to access Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya on your televisions, you can stop reading now. This is for those of us, in the US, who either have to sleep with our laptops streaming the “real” news or who, for fear that our batteries may die, have to set our cell phone alarm clocks to wake up at 3:00 a.m. to watch reporting of a firefight in Benghazi or the de-powerification of another corrupt politician in (pick one) Palestine, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain ...

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The Fabric of Democracy

When disturbed, they usually escape by running and rarely take to flight. (The Common Peacock) In Rogues, his 2003 volume on rogue states,[1] Jacques Derrida looked to Plato's Republic in order to assess the Grecian syntagma of democracy as ‘democracy to come.’ Passages from the Republic referring to ‘democratic man and his freedoms’ hold special relevance; Derrida used it to examine the rise of Islamism in Algeria but I would like to focus on the relationship between clothing, democracy ...

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Oil Supply Disruption Poses a Threat to Asian Economies

[Rana Khoury & Mary E. Stonaker co-authored this post] Why should Singapore – and Asia, more broadly – care about the astonishing upheavals rippling across the Middle East and northern Africa?  While seemingly far away, there is much at stake in this troubled region. The current turmoil should be a wake-up call for Asia to realize that what happens there has a growing impact on its economies and even on security issues. The Middle East is increasingly significant to the Singapore ...

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The Counter-Revolution

Many groups in Egypt are working for political change – progressive and regressive, transparent and dubious – and the stakes are high because the power of the Mubarak regime has not been relinquished in substance. While the army has benefitted most from the revolution—its image has been polished like no time in recent history and its most likely rival, Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal, has been eliminated–it is by no means clear which direction the Higher Army Council is taking the country. What has become ...

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Algeria's Military Capabilities

The basic Algerian tripartite configuration of a national gendarmerie, the police, and the armed forces (army, navy, air force) mirrors in many ways its French counterparts. As with the French national Gendarmerie, the Algerian equivalent, made up of 150,000 people, serves as a paramilitary force charged with public safety and policing among the civilian population especially outside urban areas. Additional core tasks include counter-terrorism patrols and searches in the countryside as well as urban ...

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Bad Faith at the Book Festival

“Everywhere you look the boycott debate is in the news,” Joseph Dana notes in a recent article on his blog. The most prominent example involves British novelist Ian McEwan, who rejected calls to boycott the 2011 Jerusalem Book Festival after being awarded the Jerusalem Prize. Instead, McEwan, in his acceptance speech last week, offered some words of criticism for Israeli policies, including settlements and the siege of Gaza, while simultaneously paying tribute to “the precious tradition of a democracy of ...

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Exclusive Update from Benghazi: Inside Information on the Opposition Movement

This morning, I spoke to Mohammed Fannoush, an active dissident in Benghazi, who informed me that the liberated cities, in both the East and West, have come together and organized a committee which will serve as a collective organ from which they will continue to unwaveringly fight for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Fannoush has been put in charge of communication and urged me and other Arab-Americans to be active in clarifying the situation of the anti-Gaddafi movement in Libya as being nationalist, ...

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Map of Libya According to Qaddafi Imagi-Nation

[This cartoon was prepared after Qaddafi's third speech on February 25, in which he equated Libya with himself . . . ]

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Bahrain Then and Now: Reflections on the Future of the Arab Monarchies

Will Bahrain be the first Middle Eastern monarchy in recent times to collapse? The last one to bite the dust was Iran’s in 1979, following the demise of kingdoms in Libya (1969), North Yemen (1962), Tunisia (1956), Iraq (1958) and Egypt (1952). Like dominoes they seemed to be falling in that era, giving rise to the idea that monarchies were political dinosaurs. But later on, as the remaining monarchies survived, it appeared that the people were more prepared to confer legitimacy on kings than presidents. ...

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Popular Now: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf Cooperation Council Crisis

The 1967 Defeat and the Conditions of the Now: A Roundtable