An Achilles Heel for Saudi Wahhabis?

by Mark Woodward* On September first the British on-line paper The Independent reported on alleged plans by the Saudi Arabian government to demolish the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb and move his body to an unmarked grave. The Prophet’s tomb is located in the mosque he built in Madinah in the seventh century and is the second most important Muslim holy site. Millions of pilgrims visit every year.   The Independent’s story was based on a 61 page […] Read more »

Extremists Rebrand the Conflict in Afghanistan

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremist site Prisoner of Joy recently posted the announcement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that operations against the United States and its allies will now be named Al Farooq Operations. From the post: The invaders should be made aware that the names of these operations are not merely accidental rather they have a special meaning and interpretation. This new name, however, may carry broader connotations of conflict within the Muslim […] Read more »

“We are All Afghans” in Iran

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Arab Spring showed the world how social media can help organize mass political dissent. In the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, single issues coalesced online into far broader and diverse campaigns that toppled ruling regimes. Recently, outside of the Arab world, discriminatory government policies  in Iran against Afghans have come to light. Decried by critics as overt state-backed racism, it is a scandalous hot-button issue that the rulers of the […] Read more »

The Iranian Narrative Landscape Stirs

by Jeffry R. Halverson Recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been abuzz over the release of a video entitled “The Coming is Very Near,” a 28-minute production created by a group of Twelver Shi‘a devotees of the Hidden Imam al-Mahdi, known as the Harbingers of the Coming (perhaps associated with the Hojjatieh Society). It is believed that President Ahmadinejad’s chief-of-staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is a member of the group. A report released by the […] Read more »

Egypt and Iran: A Tale of Two Narratives

by Jeffry R. Halverson and Steven R. Corman Recent events in Egypt have led some quarters to suggest we are witnessing a case parallel to the 1979 revolution in Iran. Back then, the fall of the Shah left a political vacuum that allowed religious hardliners to take control and create a new theocratic and stridently anti-western government. In his New Republic article, Abbas Milani, co-director of Stanford’s Iranian Democracy Project, views the situation in Egypt […] Read more »

A Counter-Narrative for Iranian Tyranny

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has released a new white paper by Jeffry Halverson entitled A Counter-Narrative for Iranian Tyranny.  The executive summary is below, and you can find the full paper here. The ruling regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is increasingly known for a militant foreign policy posture, abuse of the human rights of its citizens, and a suspected nuclear weapons program that threatens to destabilize the Middle East region. It […] Read more »

Moving beyond the obvious: Zawahiri on Obama

by ZS Justus A recent audio recording from al-Qaeda #2 Zawahiri sends a series of “messages” to President-elect Barack Obama. News outlets have quickly grabbed one of the more provocative excerpts from the recording, Zawahiri’s labeling of Obama as a “house negro.” Several blogs have followed suit including hotair, gateway pundit, commentary magazine, the moderate voice, and right voices among others. I suppose the desire to label someone a “racist” is just too much to […] Read more »

Analysis: Scapegoats in New York City

In the introduction of Ahmadinejad, Bollinger's openly challenging, oppositional and isolating framework, despite being cloaked in an offer of a podium, meant only that another moment for effective strategic communication was lost. Read more »