On Geopolitics

A New Brand of Nationalism Takes Root in the Middle East

Ryan Bohl
Middle East and North Africa Analyst, Stratfor
Sep 4, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A satellite image of the Middle East and North Africa. 

A satellite image of the Middle East and North Africa. 

(Capitano Productions Film/Shutterstock.com)

Once the salve for crushed Middle Eastern empires, Pan-Islamism and its vision of a singular caliphate are now increasingly seen as a threat to stability in the region, with countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia turning toward nationalism to instead define their policies and behavior. Indeed, even the countries that still claim to embody the movement’s ideals, such as Qatar and Turkey, are only doing so as a means to a nationalist end, exploiting its preachings of Islamic unity to project their government’s strength at home and abroad. This trend has most recently been illuminated by the UAE-Israel normalization pact by dealing yet another blow to the idea that a global Muslim community, despite its many differences, could at the very least agree on issues such as the Palestinian question. ...

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