US Foreign Policy

The Escalating Shi’a-Sunni Conflict

in Program

In Stimson’s continuing series on the Escalating Shi’a-Sunni confilct, held by our Middle East program, discussions have included the role of state actors, contrasting the influence of religion and politics, and assessing the control of ISIS. Below are exerpts from the first three parts of this four part series.

Scholars discussing these issues include Bureau Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel in Washington Hisham Melhem, Special Representative of the Syrian National Council to the US and the UN Dr. Najib Ghadbian, Visiting Scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program Joseph Bahout, and Fellow for Stimson’s Middle East Program Geneive Abdo.

Is it About Religion or Politics?

Hisham Melhem compares sectarian conflict in the Middle East to the crusades, concluding there is a religious element, but the end is larger.

Assessing the Role of State Actors

Dr. Najib Ghadbian discusses the basis for changes in Iraq and Syria.

Assessing the Role of ISIS

Joseph Bahout and Geneive Abdo discuss the appeal in ISIS as it relates to followers seeking the “survival of their sect.”

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