From Tunisia to Pakistan, the Muslim world is in turmoil, as each country struggles to find its own path to an Arab Spring.
Pessimists say that, in the end, all of these countries will end up with some form of authoritarian regime either because Islamic parties cannot accept democracy or out of a fear that these regimes will keep a nation out of the modern world.
Sectarianism experienced a boost in the aftermath of the 2011 popular uprisings in the Arab world. But a closer look reveals that Arab leaders’ over-emphasis on the dangers of sectarianism conveniently served their purpose of safeguarding ruling elites’ hold on power. The international community should not be overly taken in by the narrative that reforms should be limited due to sectarian tension.
TOULOUSE, FRANCE- French police have captured an armed man who took four hostages in a Toulouse bank Wednesday. According to French media reports, the man claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda and acted for religious reasons. The hostages have been released.
YELWA, NIGERIA – Islamist militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing that killed at least 12 people Sunday. The bombing took place at a church in Yelwa near Nigeria’s northern Bauchi state.
This Peace Brief is based in part upon a closed-door roundtable convened by the United States Institute of Peace which drew on the expertise of scholars, practitioners, U.S. government officials, and the policy community to discuss the implications of the burning of the Quran.