Post-Islamism in the Arab Gulf states. A shift from Salafism to Islamic humanism

Summary A powerful current of Muslim revivalism has gone largely unnoticed by Westerners, mostly focused on Islamism, Salafism, and Jihadism. Although deeply rooted as far as the Muslim Nahda (Renaissance) of the 19th Century, it surfaced after their failure and the fall of the Islamic State in 2019. This development incidentally coincided with the coming […]

Does the political shift, among European voters, towards populism entail a return to traditional values? No.

Values are more than opinions: they claim to have some coherence, to shape a world-view, to be opposable, even imposable, to others, and to organise own’s life. They are often the result of a secularisation of religious norms (or “translation” in the Habermas sense: making religious values acceptable to secular people by rending them “autonomous” […]

Lamartine, in the forgotten years of French Islamophilia

Hard as it is to believe today, in the course of French literary history, many writers displayed, vis-à-vis Islam, a desire to understand, a real tolerance and an open-mindedness which have now vanished completely among most of our intellectuals. The poet Alphonse de Lamartine is a case in point.               […]

Recent trends in Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Aid Policy

(paper presented by Louis Blin at the conference « Impact of Gulf States’ foreign aid on protracted crises », Florence, June 23, 2023) This paper does not aim at giving a global overview of Saudi Arabia’s foreign aid policy. It rather tries to find out how it might evolve, through a record of its recent trends. According […]

The “Islamic veil” in Islamic Literature

Pascal Sébah, « Femme de Djeddah (A Woman from Jeddah) », 1873, in Louis Blin, La Ville d’Ève. Djeddah dans l’iconographie française jusqu’en 1940 (The City of Eve. Jeddah in the French Iconography up to 1940), Paris, Geuthner, 2021, p. 446. Everyone talks about the “Islamic veil” on both sides of the Mediterranean, but who […]

Le « voile islamique » au crible des textes

Pascal Sébah, « Femme de Djeddah », 1873, in Louis Blin, La Ville d’Ève. Djeddah dans l’iconographie française jusqu’en 1940, Paris, Geuthner, 2021, 446 p. Tout le monde parle du « voile islamique » des deux côtés de la Méditerranée, mais qui sait de quoi il parle ? On trouvera la réponse à cette question – et à d’autres soulevées […]

What’s New About the Sweida Protests in Southern Syria?

This paper was published in Arabic on 9 December and translated into English. For several months, Sweida governorate has been witnessing daily protests against worsening living conditions, which have been further exacerbated by an acute shortage of fuel and prolonged power outages. These deteriorating conditions have imposed restrictions on movement, disrupted work in state institutions, […]

Turkish-Syrian Rapprochement: Rhetoric and Motivations

During a routine press conference on 12 August, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, casually mentioned a brief discussion he had had with Faisal al-Miqdad, the Syrian Foreign Minister, on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned Movement meeting in October 2021. A few days later, President Erdogan denied that Turkey had territorial claims in Syria and […]

The Regional Geopolitical Implications of the Ukrainian Conflict for Syria

  The Russian intervention in September 2015 was a central turning point in the Syrian conflict. The resulting territorial regime gains, the ensuing stalemate, the deadlock in political negotiations and the inability to induce meaningful change in Syria frustrated Assad’s detractors and slowly deprioritised resolution of the conflict on the international agenda. However, as the […]

Delays in Rebuilding Benghazi: The Case of the al-Sabry Neighbourhood

The eastern Libyan city of Benghazi—the second largest in the country—has seen 30 percent of the city destroyed: a consequence of the 2011 revolution and the conflict of 2014-2017.[1] This destruction occurred in strategically-important areas of Benghazi, including the city’s main business and administrative center, as well as surrounding areas such as the al-Sabry and […]