Qatari Labour Reforms: Words but No Actions

Qatar’s failure to enact wide-ranging reforms heightens the risk of its hosting rights being called into question against a backdrop of legal investigations into the integrity of its bid and world soccer body FIFA presidential elections, writes James M. Dorsey.

The Descent Into Madness, Part II

In the short span of 8 years, we suffered a collective loss of confidence in American leadership, in the ability of government to perform its most basic functions, and in the very essence of the American Dream, notes James Zogby.

Iranian Regime Manipulates Religion to Crackdown Its Opponents

Should we bow to what “high ranking officials” of a country declare? Asks Heshmat Alavi.

ISIS Wants a Clash of Civilizations: Let's Not Give In

Language of war elevates terrorists to the very status to which they aspire: that of legitimate combatants. The fevered hothouses of extremism, whether in Belgian slums or Saudi Wahhabi mosques, generate a narrative that serves as the pretext for violent action, notes Juan Cole.

The Refugee Crisis Is Europe's Moral Obligation, and America's Too

It’s asking a lot for Europe to absorb so many new people all at once. The United States, with our rich history of immigration, and our enormous territory, should be putting out the biggest welcome mat, argues Katha Pollitt.

How The Ideological Siege Undermines The Peace Process

Netanyahu is not committed to a two-state solution. A new leader representing the center and left of center is needed, one who fully understands that Israel is racing toward the abyss if it fails to bring the conflict to an end, writes Dr. Alon Ben-Meir.

Turkey Brings NATO to the Precipice of War With Russia

Erdogan’s motives for the shoot-down are not terribly difficult to divine, and they have little to do with the alleged violation of Turkey’s sovereign airspace, argues James Carden.

We Have Gone Temporarily Mad, Again

If our history teaches us anything, it is that the voices of our better angels will ultimately be heard and they will win in the end. We have confronted and defeated our demons before and we can do so again, argues James Zogby.

Muslims Have Been Living in America Since Before the Revolutionary War

Trump says he wants to make America great again. But he knows nothing of greatness. The measures of what is great and good about America are not found in the crude comments of politicians, writes John Nichols.

The US Spread of Democracy by the Barrel of the Gun

To get rid of one man, Iraq was occupied, destroyed, and the Iraqi State set up by the British in 1914, was dismantled. A sectarian constitution was imposed to replace Iraq’s historic secular constitution, in order to divide and rule the people through fear, notes Dr Burhan M. Al-Chalabi.

A Post-Paris 'Clash of Civilizations'?

It’s a terrible thing to know that, as the gray zones of our planet continue to disappear and wrecked worlds spread, the tempo of that dance of mutual death and destruction stands every chance of speeding up, writes Tom Engelhardt.

ISIS: Ambitions and Constraints

ISIS’ swift occupation of a large swathe ofIraq and Syria and its ability to stretch its tentacles in ten countries through highlights the group’s ambition and its capacity to control and manage large territories, writes Fadi Elhusseini.

How Should the World Respond to the ISIS Threat? (Part 1 of 2)

“What can and should the U.S. do more effectively to defeat ISIS?” everyone asks. Nobody I have talked to or read offers a fully convincing answer to this critical question, notes Rami G. Khouri.

A Post-Paris “Clash of Civilizations”?

Tom Engelhardt explores the ways in which the Islamic State is consciously using its jihadist attacks and threats of more to create the grim world of its dreams (including an increasingly right-wing, anti-Muslim Europe that will send further recruits into its ranks).

France's Ramped-Up Syria Bombing Comes up Empty

The French response, so far, is something of a hollow “shock-and-awe”: lashing out with overwhelming force, but not in a manner that accomplishes much, argues Ali Gharib.

What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters

Rumors abound as to summary executions of ISIS prisoners without due process, but of course no one will go on the record to report such abuses of human rights, writes Lydia Wilson.

Why Have Past Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Failed?

New international effort to resume the peace negotiations must not lose sight of the popular demand of the majority on both sides to live in peace, argues Dr. Alon Ben-Meir.

Why Paris Became the Jihadi Jackpot

If today’s terrorism is a global affair (...)it is nonetheless hard not to wonder what intricate amalgam of sociology, culture, geopolitics, and history makes Paris the Islamic State’s preferred target in Europe, notes Natasha Lehrer.

Tunisia olive production at risk of halving by 2030
Climate change can wreak havoc in Tunisia, where only a few hundred kilometres separate fertile lands from first dunes of Sahara desert.
Iran bars orchestra performance over women musicians
Issue of music in public resurfaces with artists repeatedly complaining they have been stopped from performing at short notice.
In search for Nefertiti, Egypt plans more tests on tomb of Tutankhamun
British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves says Nefertiti’s tomb could be in secret chamber adjoining Tutankhamun's tomb.
Modern art on rare display at Tehran major exhibition
Rarely seen modern art, including works by Americans Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, go on display in major exhibition in Iran.
Through T-shirts, Syria football team makes political statement
Coach Fajr Ibrahim and midfielder Osama Omari stride into media conference clad in white t-shirts with large photo of embattled president.
Amid sensitivities, Syria refugees in Lebanon consider family planning
In much of Middle East, large families are seen as a blessing from God, and contraception is regarded with scepticism or outright hostility.
Iran women drivers receive warning from police: No veil, no car!
About 10,000 motorists receive warnings, with 2,000 facing further action for breaking ‘social norms.’
Europe dream dashed on Libyan coast
Some 5,000 people trying to reach Europe are detained in and around Tripoli as smuggling becomes thriving business in war-torn Libya.
‘Urgent appeal’ as new cyclone hits Socotra Island in Yemen
Fisheries Minister Fahd Kavieen urges UN and neighbouring Oman to ‘urgently intervene with emergency teams to save residents.’
40th anniversary of Morocco’s Green March artistically celebrated in Rabat
37 artists are taking part in first edition of Visual Arts Festival held in Moroccan capital as part of celebrations of 40th anniversary of the Green March.
Russia airliner bomb fears deal hard blow to Egypt tourism
Analysts warn of serious risk of lasting damage to Egypt’s tourism sector if bomb fears are proven to be true as many major tour operators suspend all packages to Sinai Peninsula’s south coast.
Qatar labour reforms dismissed as ‘sham’
Rights activists slam Qatar’s long-awaited reforms for foreign workers which critics have likened to modern-day slavery.