Sectarian Politics in the Gulf

Sectarian Politics in the Gulf

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Beginning with the 2003 invasion of Iraq and concluding with the Arab uprisings of 2011, Frederic Wehrey investigates the Shia€™a-Sunni divide now dominating the Persian Gulf a€™s political landscape. Focusing on three states affected most by sectarian tensionsa€”Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwaita€”Wehrey identifies the factors that have exacerbated or tempered sectarianism, including domestic political institutions, the media, clerical establishments, and the contagion effect of external events, such as the Iraq civil war and the Arab uprisings. In addition to his analysis, Wehrey builds a historical narrative of Shia€™ a activism in the Arab Gulf since 2003, linking regional events to the development of local Shia€™a strategies and attitudes toward citizenship, political reform, and transnational identity. He finds that, while the Gulf Shia€™a were inspired by their coreligionists in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon, they ultimately pursued greater rights through a non-sectarian, nationalist approach. He also discovers that sectarianism in the Gulf has largely been the product of the institutional weaknesses of Gulf states, leading to excessive alarm by entrenched Sunni elites and calculated attempts by regimes to discredit Shia€™a political actors as proxies for Iran, Iraq, or Lebanese Hizballah. Wehrey conducts interviews with nearly every major Shia€™a leader, opinion shaper, and activist in the Gulf Arab states, as well as prominent Sunni voices, and consults diverse Arabic-language sources.stituted an Internet-filtering policy and shut down the websites of popular opposition leaders such as EiAbd al-Wahhab al-Husayn. It also ordered that a Blackberry service provider shut down its service.64 In the wake of the February 17, 2011, anbsp;...

Title:Sectarian Politics in the Gulf
Author: Frederic M. Wehrey
Publisher:Columbia University Press - 2014-01-07

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