Michael Robbins

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de Abril de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Sudanese mark the anniversary of a transitional power-sharing deal with demands for quicker political reforms in Khartoum on Aug. 17, 2020. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

Last month, Nasredeen Abdulbari, Sudan’s justice minister, announced the end of bans on alcohol and apostasy, and prohibited the use of traditional corporal punishment. These moves are part of a wider effort to shift Sudan away from traditional sharia, or Islamic law, which has been the basis of law in the country for decades.

Some observers in the West might see this as Sudan taking a step toward liberal democracy, recognizing that the transition remains delicate. But survey data from Arab Barometer — a nonpartisan research network providing insights on the views of citizens across the Arab world — suggest that Sudan’s population may not widely support these moves.…  Seguir leyendo »

Algerian protesters carrying national flags call for postponing the presidential elections in Algiers, on Tuesday. (EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Protests continue in Algeria, for the seventh month. The country’s long-standing leader, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left office in early April, but the demonstrators continue turning out in the streets calling for more political elites to step down and demanding free and fair elections.

The root of citizen anger is not about the president himself, but the failure of the country’s governing system to provide for the basic needs of Algerians.

New findings from the nonpartisan research network Arab Barometer’s nationally representative survey of 2,332 Algerian citizens on the eve of the demonstrations show why the protests continue unabated.

Combined with a political system designed to limit mechanisms to register dissent, the only option that remained for ordinary Algerians to voice their frustration was to take to the streets to demand change.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a recent interview, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made headlines with a striking claim that he will try to return his country to “moderate Islam” as part of his broader reform efforts. Though it is unclear what, if any, tangible changes this will produce, his remarks are part of a growing trend among leaders in the Arab world to use elements of the state-sponsored religious establishment, or “official Islam,” to counter extremist ideologies.

Some countries have been far more successful than others at harnessing the power of official Islam to challenge popular Islamist movements and limit radical ideologies. In a new article, we examine how regimes have used official religious institutions in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia after the 2011 uprisings shook the region.…  Seguir leyendo »