Zawahiri’s Curious Recollection of Karbala in Bin Laden Eulogy

by Jeffry R. Halverson The Karbala master narrative is one of the most rich and influential in the Islamic world, specifically among Shi‘a societies. We devoted an entire chapter to it in the book Master Narratives of Islamist Extremism, and Kamran Scott Aghaie has penned a wonderful study of it in relation to the history of Iranian identity and nationalism. There is a terrific documentary too, examining the narrative in contemporary Iran and Iraq, which […] 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 Jeffry R. Halverson 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 is in the interests of all parties involved, save for the Iranian regime itself, to bring about the radical reform of Iran’s political system, especially in light of its increasing […] Read more »