Category Archives: News and Views

The Hunger Wars


In the fall of 2012, fighters from the Free Syrian Army took over Eastern Ghouta, a semi-agricultural area about eight miles northeast of Damascus. Government forces responded by placing the area under siege, cutting off water, electricity, gas, medical assistance … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Iran-Soviet arms deal is a game changer

Russia's President  Putin greets his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani

By Ed Blanche Iran is expected to receive the first advanced S-300 air de­fence missile systems it is buy­ing from Russia by the end of the year. The Islamic Re­public’s adversaries view the sys­tems’ deployment as a major game changer … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Terror acts insult Islam says Grand Imam


Terrorists cite their Islamic faith in justifying carnage. In fact, they’re insulting it. That is the assessment of  Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (right), a top Sunni Muslim cleric in Egypt, who claims “terrorism has no religion or identity,” even if … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Book review : Al Qaeda,the Islamic State and the global Jihadist movement


Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the global Jihadist movement What everyone needs to know By Daniel Byman published by Oxford University Press ISBN 97801902172666 Price £ 47.99 paperback On the morning of September 11, 2001, the entire world was … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Book review: The Holy Sail

the holy sail

The Holy Sail By Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud Published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation ISBN 9789927101670 Price £8.99 paperback   Oblivious to the invasions, massacres and religious fanaticism that characterise the 15th century, a young girl falls in love with a noble Arabian tribal … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

This is no World War III – ISIS is still weak

file-16-paris peace

The attacks in Ankara, Sinai, Beirut and Paris, all claimed by ISIS, highlight a step change in the group’s strategy, taking its barbarism overseas and into the skies. This might suggest an increased potency but equally some argue it highlights … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

SYRIA: an economy based on war


Despite the involvement of several world powers, there is no imminent military solution in Syria. To bomb or not to bomb? This should not be the question but sadly it is. The British Government will push for parliamentary approval to … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

Book review- Terrains of exchange


Terrains of exchange Religious Economies of Global Islam By Nile Green Published by Hurst ISBN 9781849044288 Price £25.00  hardback Terrains of Exchange offers a bold new paradigm for understanding the expansion of Islam in the modern world. Through the model … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Book review – The Alawis of Syria


The Alawis of Syria War, faith and politics in the Levant Edited by Michael Kerr and Craig Larkin Published by Hurst ISBN 9781849043991 Price £29.99 hardback   Throughout the turbulent history of the Levant the ‘Alawis — a secretive, resilient … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Peace prize reignites hope – for Tunisia and the region

Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet, seen here at a news conference in 2013, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its contribution to building democracy after the Jasmine Revolution in 2011.

There was a time Tunisia looked set to follow the path of many of the popular uprisings during the Arab Spring – first hope, then a descent into bloodshed and chaos. What helped save the country’s prospects was an extraordinary coming … Continue reading

Category: News and Views