Arab Shi'a: The Forgotten Muslims

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9780312221782: Arab Shi'a: The Forgotten Muslims

This is the first book on the Arab Shi'a community, a group whose identity and relations to the rest of the Middle East cut to the heart of politics and society in the Arab and Muslim world. The Arab Shi'a represent a majority of the overall population along the Arab coast of the Persian Gulf and are the largest religious group in Lebanon. Historically there have been major tensions between the Shi'a and Sunni communities. This book, based on extensive field interviews, examines the nature of Shi'ite belief and community life, contemporary political and social problems, key grievances, and the nature of their relationship with the dominant Sunni state today as they seek a major voice in a new political order. Integration of the Shi'a is a key to orderly political evolution in the Gulf in the next century.

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About the Author:

GRAHAM E. FULLER is Senior Political Analyst at RAND Corporation.

REND RAHIM FRANCKE is Executive Director of the Iraq Foundation.

From Library Journal:

Within the Arab world, the Sunni population constitutes the majority and wields political power in every Arab state today. However, there are significant Shi'a communities in key Arab countries, and they constitute the majority of the population in Iraq and Bahrain and the plurality in Lebanon. For historical and political reasons, the Shi'a have fared rather poorly in much of the Arab world, and the topic of Shi'ism and Shi'a groups are among the most sensitive issues for the Sunni elite. In this lucid, highly readable, and timely book, Fuller, a RAND Corporation Middle East specialist, and Francke, executive director of the Iraq Foundation, provide an interesting and informative analysis of the travail of the Shi'a politics in the Arab world and explain various patterns of discrimination against the Arab Shi'a. This volume will appeal to scholars and informed readers alike and is a much-needed book in this neglected area of Arab politics. Recommended for academic and public libraries.ANader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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