July 11, 2019
Muslim religious leaders that issue declarations are not seen as credible sources of religious authority by the individuals that carry out attacks. Given that declarations are unlikely to reduce the likelihood of violence, what is their intended purpose?
June 10, 2019
Whether admiring his reforms or damning his abuses, news coverage of Saudi Arabia tends to portray Mohammed bin Salman as the kingdom’s key change agent. However, although MbS wields considerable power, he has not singlehandedly altered Saudi society.
May 14, 2019
Morocco has worked to establish itself as a bulwark against religious extremism. But to what extent do Moroccans view state leadership in religion favorably, or see head of state King Mohammed VI as a source of religious authority?
May 14, 2019
Arabic translation of Policy Brief: “Public Opinion on the Religious Authority of the King of Morocco”
May 3, 2019
Although abandoning U.S. government engagement with faith-based organizations is hardly the solution, best practices would likely result from appointing individuals with the expertise necessary to protect equal rights and democracy.
April 4, 2019
The survey results indicate that King Mohammed VI has religious authority. These findings may reflect a taboo against questioning his status as the Commander of the Faithful, but also indicate the success of state-sponsored religious messaging.
March 19, 2019
With Courtney Freer and Scott Williamson, moderated by Nathan Brown
November 21, 2018
A number of Middle Eastern regimes have been touting moderate Islam to appeal to Western governments. What is moderate Islam and what role if any should the United States and other Western countries play in supporting it?
October 23, 2018
Governments around the world are introducing legislation to crack down on “fake news,” and frequently use new laws to silence criticism. Allegations of fake news allow authoritarian governments to discredit individuals or views that challenge their control.
November 9, 2017
MbS is aware of the need to improve his country’s image to better target investors who might otherwise avoid the kingdom. However, promoting moderate Islam requires significant restructuring of religious institutions and reshaping beliefs.
May 11, 2017
A subsection of the larger piece, “Official Islam in the Arab World: The Contest for Religious Authority” by Nathan Brown
Oman’s religious sphere is distinctive in two respects. The state gives special emphasis to tolerance and it also exerts greater control over the religious sphere than in most other Arab countries. These features are not unrelated.
March 1, 2017
There is no real agreement on the meaning of moderate Islam. Muslim-majority governments that wish to be labeled moderate generally need to comply with the agenda of the United States, but the behavior associated with moderation has changed over time.