The Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East gathers a diverse team of international scholars, each of whom provides unique expertise into the status and prospects of minority populations in the region. The dramatic events of the past decade, from the Arab Spring protests to the rise of the Islamic state, have brought the status of these populations onto centre stage. The overturn of various long-term autocratic governments in states such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, and the ongoing threat to government stability in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon have all contributed to a new assertion of majoritarian politics amid demands for democratization and regime change. In the midst of the dramatic changes and latent armed conflict, minority populations have been targeted, marginalized, and victimized. Calls for social and political change have led many to contemplate the ways in which citizenship and governance may be changed to accommodate minorities – or indeed if such change is possible.
At a time when the survival of minority populations and the utility of the label minority has been challenged, this handbook answers the following set of research questions.What are the unique challenges of minority populations in the Middle East? How do minority populations integrate into their host societies, both as a function of their own internal choices, and as a response to majoritarian consensus on their status? Finally, given their inherent challenges, and the vast, sweeping changes that have taken place in the region over the past decade, what is the future of these minority populations? What impact have minority populations had on their societies, and to what extent will they remain prominent actors in their respective settings?
This handbook presents leading-edge research on a wide variety of religious, ethnic, and other minority populations. By reclaiming the notion of minorities in Middle Eastern settings, we seek to highlight the agency of minority communities in defining their past, present, and future.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Reclaiming "Minorities" in the Middle East Paul S. Rowe, Section One: Majority-Minority Relations in the Middle East, 2. Religious Minorities in the Diversity of Islamic Thought, David D. Grafton, 3. Balancing Identities: Minorities and Arab Nationalism, Noah Haiduc-Dale, 4. The Praxis of Islamist Models of Citizenship in a Post-Arab Revolt Middle East: Implications for Religious Pluralism, Mariz Tadros, 5. Minorities, Civil Society, and the State in the Contemporary Middle East: a Framework for AnalysisPaul Kingston, Section Two: Religious Minorities, 6. Tracing the Coptic Question in Contemporary Egypt Vivian Ibrahim, 7. The Maronites Alexander D. M. Henley, 8. Palestinian Christians: Situating Selves in a Dislocated Present Mark Daniel Calder, 9. Persistent Perseverance: a Trajectory of Assyrian History in the Modern Age Sargon George Donabed, 10. Christians from a Muslim Background in the Middle East Duane Alexander Miller, 11. The Yezidis: an Ancient People, Tragedy, and Struggle for Survival Birgül Aҫikyildiz-Sengül, 12. The Mandaeans in Iraq Shak Hanish, 13. Bahá’ís in the Middle East Geoffrey Cameron with Nazila Ghanea, 14. The Alawites of Syria: the Costs of Minority Rule Leon T. Goldsmith, 15. Particularism versus Integration: the Druze Communities in the Modern Middle East Yusri Hazran, 16. Alevis in Turkey Ali Çarkoğlu and Ezgi Elçi, 17. The Samaritans Monika Schreiber, 18. Shi’i Minorities in the Arab World Laurence Louër, Section Three: Ethnic Minorities 19. The Kurds in the Middle East David Romano, 20. Armenians in the Middle East: from Marginalization to the Everyday Tsolin Nalbantian, 21. The Palestinian Minority in the State of Israel: Challenging Jewish Hegemony in Difficult Times Aviad Rubin, 22. The Bedouin in the Middle East Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, 23. The Berbers (Amazigh) Bruce Maddy-Weitzman Section Four: Emerging Issues and Minorities in the Middle East 24. Sitting at the Crossroads: Sexual Minorities in the Middle East Merouan Mekouar and Jean Zaganiaris, 25. Minorities and Armed Conflict in the Middle East, Paul S. Rowe, 26. Middle Eastern Minorities in Diaspora Andreas Schmoller, 27. Middle Eastern Minorities and the Media Elizabeth Monier, 28. Western Advocacy on Behalf of Religious Minorities: Practical ReflectionsChris Seiple and Andrew Doran, Bibliography
Paul S. Rowe is Professor in the Department of Political and International Studies, Trinity Western University, Canada.