Articles

Article 05 February 2014

Sochi winter Olympics highlight jihadi threat

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are only two days away, and one of the biggest concerns still seems to be security — a concern that is more than justified in the wake of December's Volgograd bombings....
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Article 04 February 2014

Pisapia nods to the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s who will carry out the first mosque in Milan

Giovanni Giacalone discusses Pisapia’s municipality’s ongoing decision to entrust Islamic representatives, who share the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology, with the building project of the first big Milanese mosque....
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Article 01 February 2014

Ahead of Sochi Olympics, cossack brigades and lifted ban on demonstrations

EFD Fellow Anna Borschchevskaya discusses the new decree issued by the Russian president Vladimir Putin to control demonstrations during the winter Olympic Games in Sochi....
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Article 01 February 2014

Senegal’s seizure of Russian trawler Oleg Naydyonov

In the below article, EFD’s Anna Borschchevskaya illustrates the dynamics involving a Russian trawler seized by the Senegalese military near the coast of Guinea-Bissau in January 2014....
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Article 01 February 2014

The $15 billion Russia-Ukraine deal

On December 2013, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, respectively the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, concluded a deal: Ukraine would not sign the Association Agreement with the EU in return for a $15 billion loan from Russia....
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Article 31 January 2014

In January, Iran has not built the bomb

This article is currently only available in French, and can be read here.....
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Article 28 January 2014

Syria — descent into hell

EFD Senior Policy Advisor Magnus Norell discusses the potential impact of the Geneva II Conference on the bloody crisis in Syria. According to Magnus, the conference will not result into a failure only if military problems would be also tackled....
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Article 28 January 2014

Three years after Mubarak, Egypt welcomes new dictator

“It is almost official now that the Egyptian chief of the armed forces, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, would run for the next presidential elections.” Would General al-Sisi’s victory pave the way for democracy in Egypt? EFD Researcher Giovanni Giacalone provides a comprehensive view of the current Egyptian policy framework and the difficulties it faces to achieve democracy....
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Article 21 January 2014

Western secret manoeuvres to approach Assad

European fighters, who have been travelling to Syria in the name of Jihad, may one day come back to Europe with their Islamic fundamentalism. This scenario significantly worries Western countries, which therefore started to consider President Assad as a possible ally....
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Article 20 January 2014

Democracy and confusions, its paradoxes and dangers

In the below article, EFD Senior Fellow Richard Rossin refers to the particular importance of democracy: “our great victory inherited from the Enlightenment”. Nevertheless, nowadays in the Middle East, recent theocracies contradict the promotion of democratic values....
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Article 20 January 2014

Let’s criminalise forced marriage: secular and Islamic perspectives

In a rejoinder to Amrit Wilson's article Criminalising forced marriage in the UK: why it will not help women, Tehmina Kazi lays out the arguments for the criminalisation of forced marriage, with a particular focus on the Scottish Parliament's recent consultation on full criminalisation....
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Article 17 January 2014

Syria: Fears and hopes for Geneva

Next week an UN-backed conference on Syria begins in Geneva, attended by representatives from both Syria and the international community. EFD Senior Policy Advisor Magnus Norell explains which possible conclusions could be reached during the conference....
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Article 14 January 2014

Islam taught in German and Austrian schools

EFD Researcher Giovanni Giacalone discusses the possibility of introducing Islam into the education systems of European schools. Both Germany and Austria have already adopted this initiative to stem the tide of Islamic radicalisation....
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Article 13 January 2014

A secular constitution is the new Islamist strategy

Tunisia's new constitution appears to be more secular than most had expected. EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo observes that the Tunisian government seems to compromise on Islamic legislation as a strategy to avoid the recent scenario in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a "terrorist organisation"....
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Article 09 January 2014

The battle call of the Muslim Brotherhood

According to EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo, ever since the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organisation" on 25th December 2013, this Islamist group has been showing its true colours by inciting violence and using media to convince their audience of their innocence....
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Article 08 January 2014

Dieudonné or the fragile and confused state

France has witnessed an increase in anti-Semitic gestures, sparked by comedian Dieudonné’s creation of the infamous “quenelle” gesture. EFD Senior Fellow Richard Rossin observes how French politicians are showing their indignation towards this rise in anti-Semitism, but seem to be too busy complaining and fail to stimulate significant change....
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Article 08 January 2014

Facing death penalty when defending freedom

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, detained in a Saudi prison since 2012 for offences against Islamic religious figures, is now being tried for apostasy. EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo condemns such a sentence and highlights how Badawi's blogging activities were merely trying to provide Saudi civil society with a voice in the midst repression....
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Article, Mention 08 January 2014

My son, the Salafist

Austria’s daily newspaper Wiener Zeitung features a report on the counter-radicalisation work of EFD Programme Director Ahmad Mansour in Germany....
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Article 08 January 2014

Russia’s growing Middle East influence

Russian President Vladimir Putin achieved perhaps his most desired goal in 2013: He successfully positioned Russia as indispensable to resolving key international problems. And nowhere has his success been more visible than in the Syrian conflict and Iranian nuclear negotiations....
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Article 07 January 2014

The Egyptian government stands beside Coptic Christians

EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo writes that the decision made by the Egyptian government to regard the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organisation" has been triggered by ongoing discrimination against Christian Copts in Egypt, and that the Egyptian government understands the need to protect this religious minority....
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Article 01 January 2014

Lavrov’s Visit to Tehran Strengthens Russia-Iran

In a monthly Operational Environment Watch commentary, EFD Fellow Anna Borshchevskaya writes that Lavrov's visit to Tehran in December appears to have strengthened Russia-Iran ties, commenting on their shared interests....
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Article 01 January 2014

Russia Strengthens Its Presence in the Caucasus amidst Protests

In a monthly Operational Environment Watch commentary, EFD Fellow Anna Borshchevskaya observes that Russia is not intending to loosen its grip in the South Caucasus. This decision comes soon after Armenia's joining of Russia's Customs Union....
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Article 01 January 2014

Russia’s $2 Billion Weapons Deal with Egypt

Russia's $2 billion weapons deal with Egypt is viewed, by EFD Fellow Anna Borshchevskaya, as an attempt to renew Soviet-era ties. This deal also gives Russia the opportunity to fill the void that the U.S. is leaving as an ally for Egypt, thus increasing its influence in the Middle East....
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Article 20 December 2013

Darfur: for a free and democratic Sudan

This article is currently only available in French, and can be read here.....
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Article 09 December 2013

Russia: Alternative point of view on Syrian conflict

In the run-up to the Geneva peace talks on Syria scheduled for early November, mainstream Russian press typically provided brief dry reports on the Syrian conflict, similar to the accompanying excerpt from Lenta.ru (Ribbon) from 22 October. The article quotes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stating that he doubted the talks will be attended by “forces representing the Syrian people,” and expressed a decision to run for Syria’s presidency i...
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Article 02 December 2013

Who is feeding the ‘European’ Jihad in Syria

Since 2011, large waves of Europeans have been travelling to Syria in the name of Jihad. EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo discusses the influence of preachers such as Shaikh R. al-Nabulsi on the growing phenomenon of European fighters in Syria....
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Article The evolution of Jihadism in Italy: rise in homegrown radicals
Article 26 November 2013

The evolution of Jihadism in Italy: rise in homegrown radicals

Jihadist terrorism in Italy has recently undergone significant demographic and operational changes. The first generation...
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Article 16 November 2013

Historical agreement between Russia and Egypt. Will Moscow sell weapons to Cairo?

  This article is currently only available in Italian, and can be read here.  ....
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Article 10 November 2013

The new Iran: all change or just more of the same?

EFD fellow Anna Borshchevskaya notes in her latest op-ed for Al-Arabiya that "Diplomacy cannot succeed so long as the Iranian regime is driven by an ideology that, at its core, is in an existential conflict with liberal democratic values". Video footage captured by Syrian rebels suggests that Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict goes beyond sending advisors to assist Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The BBC reported on 30th October that th...
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Article 10 November 2013

The new Iran: all change or just more of the same?

EFD fellow Anna Borshchevskaya notes in her latest op-ed for Al-Arabiya that "Diplomacy cannot succeed so long as the Iranian regime is driven by an ideology that, at its core, is in an existential conflict with liberal democratic values". Video footage captured by Syrian rebels suggests that Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict goes beyond sending advisors to assist Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The BBC reported on 30th October that...
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Article 10 November 2013

The new Iran: all change or just more of the same?

EFD fellow Anna Borshchevskaya notes in her latest op-ed for Al-Arabiya that "Diplomacy cannot succeed so long as the Iranian regime is driven by an ideology that, at its core, is in an existential conflict with liberal democratic values". Video footage captured by Syrian rebels suggests that Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict goes beyond sending advisors to assist Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The BBC reported on 30th October th...
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Article 07 November 2013

Ukraine should steer clear of Soviet Union 2.0

Later this month, the European Union’s Council of Ministers will decide whether to sign Ukraine’s European Union Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, ten days later. If the European Union agrees to offer the Ukraine formal association, it will eliminate most barriers to trade between Ukraine and the European Union, and boost Ukraine’s economy.  More importantly, the agreement would allow Ukraine to take a big...
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Article 29 August 2013

Iran threatens retaliation against Israel

In the event of a western military strike against Syria, Iran has threatened to launch rocket attacks against Israel....
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Article 27 August 2013

Persecution of Baha’is in Iran

Members of Iran's Baha'i community continue to face systematic persecution at the hands of the Iranian regime. In the Islamist dictatorship, the state clergy is one of the main bodies responsible for incendiary conduct and murder. Once again, a Baha'i has been assassinated in Iran. Before the murder, a cleric had rallied against the Baha'i, and soon afterwards the fanatical mob responded. Seemingly unremarkably, Ataollah Rezwani was killed. The...
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Article 26 August 2013

Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Iran

Iranian news media has recently turned its attention to the role of Jewish organisations and the issue of US foreign policy....
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Article 23 August 2013

The Future of the MENA region

EFD Senior Policy Advisor Lorenzo Vidino answers questions on the future of the MENA region for the Zurich-based think tank ISN. Vidino notes that the result of the Arab Spring has been to give citizens the idea that they can shape their countries' destinies. However the Arab world still has to contend with serious problems such as economic stagnation and a youth bulge that is causing social instability. You can read the article at ISN her...
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