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Emine Enise Yakar & Sumeyra Yakar This article focuses on the historically complex relations between the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and the Turkish state. It asserts that the Diyanet, from its establishment in 1924 to the present time, has experienced transformation from a strictly state-controlled institution to a more autonomous one. This transformational process transpired, sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly, within the borders of the secular state. In exploring this process, the article analyzes the ways in which the institution’s position has gradually risen within the state’s constitution and how its religio
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Abdullah bin Khalid Alkhalifa The history of relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid state is characterized by competition, tension, and wars between them, not only on Iraq but beyond the countries of the region. This study will try - as far as possible - to focus on their frantic rivalry on Iraq, which did not diminish after the Safavid state and the arrival of the Kajari state, which continued until the establishment of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. (English translation of the study is currently
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Askar H. Enazy On April 8, 2016, in the presence of Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, at the latter’s presidential palace of Al-Ittihadiyah in Cairo, Egypt’s prime minister and the Saudi deputy crown prince cosigned the maritime boundary delimitation agreement between the two countries concerning the area along the Red Sea. It quickly became known, in the media of both countries and beyond, as the “Tiran and Sanafir Accord,&r
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Mona Alami The fall of Aleppo in December emphasized the prominent role played by Lebanese Hezbollah in the Syrian war. Since 2013, Hezbollah fighters have operated across the border alongside the Syrian army and forces loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad. Hezbollah’s importance is twofold: first, it has enabled the regime to wrestle back areas from rebel control, and second, it has significantly increased the effectiveness of pro-regime forces. The war in Syria, which was triggered by the March 2011 peaceful protests against the regime of President Assad, was perceived as a dangerous threat by Hezbollah and its ba
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Jack Caravelli & Sebastian Maier Russia has developed one of the world’s most extensive cyber warfare capabilities and views those capabilities as a means to advance its strategic objectives in both war and peacetime. This paper examines Russia’s approach to the use of its cyber capabilities and how they are integrated into Russia’s broader objectives for dealing with its adversaries. Particular focus is placed on Russia’s unprecedented use of cyber to influence political elections in the West, including in the United States, France and Germany. To further its objectives, Russia also has
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The main purpose of this report is to offer readers an overview of new developments that have taken place in China with respect to the party-state's management of Islam, as well as the consequences of these new developments for Sino-Saudi relations. The report is organized into four sections. The first section discusses the authoritarian turn under way in China, which serves to contextualize the new religious controls as the backdrop of a system-wide transformation. The second section looks at the party-state's traditional approach towards the religious sphere and the mechanisms of control it employs towards it. The third
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This research paper explores the topical implications of the new realities and calculations surrounding Iran’s rapidly-evolving cyber ecosystem. The study traces a variety of cases where attribution is overwhelmingly linked to cyber interference emerging from the Islamic Republic, in which perpetrators act at arm’s length in an effort to insulate definitive accountability. Fi
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From the Almoravid’s invasion of Ghana in 1062 until the Moroccan conquest of the Songhay Empire in 1591 that, allegedly, was not “sufficiently Muslim,” Africa south of the Sahara has been exposed to a “purification of Islam” project. This project took two forms, one was the quietist, intellectually driven reformism (for instance, the 15th century Moroccan al- Maghili and 16th century Malian Ahmad Baba al-Timbukti d. 1627). The second was militant Islamism, for which the 19th century, better known as the “Jihadist period,” was particularly significant in Sudanic
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At a time of profound regional and international transformations that extend beyond the political, Middle Easterners in general and Arabs in particular ponder their future, as well as how to best preserve and protect their interests and, equally important, their cultures.  As non-Arabs interpret and opine about Arab civilization far more than indigenous thinkers, how can we understand what motivates scholars and opinion-makers, and how can Arab analysts highlight indigenous perspectives? What are the core factors that separate non-Arab scholars from their Arab counterparts? Can the perceptions of nearly 500 million individ
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The Russian-Israeli intersections in the Middle East sway sometime from being distinctly pragmatic to peculiar arenas when it comes to the ongoing Syrian conflict. Through adopting the lens of Neoclassical Realism as a theory of international relations, this paper demonstrates how the Syrian conflict - due to its importance to both Israel and Russia - leads both countries to participate in positional competition in the region, engage in limited but effective cooperation, and try to stem the erosion of state-centric governance. The unique ties between the two countries in terms of their religious
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