Al-Qaeda’s Prodigal Child

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

On 23 October 2014, Abdelaziz Kuwan, a second-year student of Islamic studies at a religious college in Saudi Arabia, was shot dead by a Syrian government sniper in the al-Hawiqa district of the eastern Syrian town of Deir Ezzor. Nearly three years earlier the teenager, a high-school dropout from Bahrain, had defied his parents and […]

Goodbye to Helmand

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

It isn’t entirely true to say that the US-led Western intervention in Afghanistan has been an unmitigated disaster. For example, around 80 per cent of the Afghan population have access to basic health care, up from 9 per cent under the Taliban regime; more than eight million children, a third of them girls, are in […]

Driving out the Dervishes

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–92) remains a controversial figure, a fact exemplified by the title of Charles Allen’s 2006 book on Wahhabism, God’s Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad. This new biography by Michael Crawford, a former senior British civil servant specialising in the Arab world, is accurate, dry but […]

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RLF - March