Contextualizing Sectarianism in the Middle East and South Asia Identity, Competition and Conflict
States across the Muslim world are faced with challenges associated with a perpetual cycle of conflict and violence organized along sectarian lines. To understand modern-day sectarianism, it is essential to move beyond explanations that focus predominantly on ancient Sunni-Shia animosities or a singular lens. It is important to engage in interdisciplinary and multidirectional examinations to better understand how sectarianism is strategically utilized by political entrepreneurs. Moreover, while religious identities and how individuals define themselves and their communities are important, it is also integral to analyze how identity has been utilized in historical and contemporary political contexts on state and non-state levels.
This volume seeks to fill gaps in understanding the complexities associated with sectarianism through a transnational interdisciplinary analytical framework to enhance understanding of the socio-political, religio-political, cultural and security landscapes of the Middle East and South Asia. It also challenges narratives regarding sectarian divisions between Sunnis and Shias and deconstructs popular misconceptions about sectarianism, its spatial and temporal impact, as well as its influence on identities, conflict, and competition.
The volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers of the Middle East and South Asia, and those interested in history, politics, international relations, international security, religion, and sociology.
Introduction: Untangling the Complexities of Sectarianism and Moving Beyond Misconceptions
1. Unravelling Sectarianism in South Asia
2. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Identity as the “True Islam” through its Exclusion
3. Understanding the Long-term Impact of Mobilizing Militant Islamists in the Soviet-Afghan War: Strategies of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran
4. Advice Columnists in Egypt: Envisioning the Good Life in an Era of Extremism
Andrea B. Rugh
5. Sectarianism’s Ambiguity: Lebanon as a Case Study, 1843-1958
6. Falling Together: Identity and the Military in Fragmented Societies
7. Accidentally Accelerating Sectarianism: Elections and the U.S. Role in the Iraqi Civil War
8. Contextualization of Sectarian Conflict and Violence in Iraq: The Intersection of Identity, Power and Conflict
9. Sectarianism and Counterterrorism: Explaining the “Silent Space” between Policy and Practice
10. Old Stately Friends, New Sectarian Foes: The Modern Saudi-Iranian Roots in Shia-Sunni Sectarianism
Conclusion: The Contextualization of Sectarianism: The Role of Identity, Money and Competition