By Dr. James M. Dorsey, January 17, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The battle for the soul of Islam pits rival Middle Eastern and Asian powers against one another: Turkey, seat of the Islamic world’s last true caliphate; Saudi Arabia, home to the faith’s holy cities; the United Arab Emirates (UAE), propagator of a militantly statist interpretation of Islam; Qatar, with its less strict version of Wahhabism and penchant for political Islam; Indonesia, promoting a humanitarian, pluralistic notion of Islam that reaches out to other faiths as well as non-Muslim center-right forces across the globe; Morocco, which uses religion as a way to position itself as the face of moderate Islam; and Shiite Iran, with its derailed revolution.
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Joe Truzman, FDD's Long War Journal
Victoria Coates and Len Khodorkovsky write: Driven by a revolutionary theology, the Islamic Republic’s regime has been metastasizing across the region since its founding in 1979. From funding and arming anti-Israel terrorists, to blowing up Saudi oil facilities, to pirating commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf, Iran is the Middle East’s preeminent menace. Not only is it out of step with the Abraham Accords, Iran is the neighborhood’s chief purveyor of discord. – Jerusalem Post
Pro-regime spokespersons and surrogates attempted to denigrate Navalny and dismiss the demonstrations as miniscule and over-reliant upon impressionable minors, who additionally served as human shields to deter an effective police response to the demonstrators. […]Below is MEMRI’s review of the events surrounding Navalny’s arrest. – Middle East Media Research Institute
Featuring H. R. McMaster via Policy EdThe United States’ conciliatory foreign policy approach to Iran has overlooked the hostile ideology that drives the regime. Understanding Iranian behavior begins with employing strategic empathy to fully understand the Iranian leadership’s ideology and its desire for hegemonic influence in the Middle East. The United States should improve defenses against the Iranian military and its terrorist proxies, disrupt Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, and communicate with the Iranian people to expose the regime’s corruption.