Ed Husain

The Arab Street

Husain examines politics, society, and radicalism in the greater Middle East.

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Showing posts for "Jordan"

Islam and Government: How It Can Be

by Ed Husain
Prominent Muslim preacher al-Habib Ali al-Jifry speaks during a joint news conference at King Abdullah mosque in Amman in 2006 (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters). Prominent Muslim preacher al-Habib Ali al-Jifry speaks during a joint news conference at King Abdullah mosque in Amman in 2006 (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters).

Last week, King Abdullah of Jordan met a prominent Muslim scholar from Yemen, al-Habib Umar bin Hafez, alongside another renowned Muslim leader, al-Habib Ali al-Jifry. All three men are descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. Their meeting had a special significance for ordinary Muslims, and reminded Jordan and young Arabs that Islam and secular government need not be at odds. Read more »

Iran Among Arab Neighbors

by Ed Husain
Crisis Guide: Iran

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On this day last week, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at the United Nations. He questioned the 9/11 attacks as “mysterious,” which led to al-Qaeda yesterday labeling Ahmadinejad’s claims “ridiculous.” While there is no love lost between the Shia Ahmadinejad and Sunni al-Qaeda, they are both competing for attention in Arab political space.

Today, Iran’s influence in Arab countries is stronger than it has been for decades. Egypt has closer business and political ties with Iran than it did under Mubarak, despite alleged Iranian spies being caught and dispatched back to Iran after the Egyptian revolution. Iraq’s government, ignoring American advice, is closer to Tehran and depends on Iranian influence over Iraq’s clerics. The murderous Syrian dictatorship is being held up, and democracy quelled, with Iranian support. The Saudi king has pleaded with Americans to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. Jordan and Bahrain made similar requests to the United States.
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