Religious Minorities in the Middle East

Domination, Self-Empowerment, Accommodation


The relationship between religious majorities and minorities in the Middle East is often construed as one of domination versus powerlessness. While this may indeed be the case, to claim that this is only or always so is to give a simplified picture of a complex reality. Such a description lays emphasis on the challenges faced by the minorities, while overlooking their astonishing ability to mobilize internal and external resources to meet these challenges. Through the study of strategies of domination, resilience, and accommodation among both Muslim and non-Muslim minorities, this volume throws into relief the inherently dynamic character of a relationship which is increasingly influenced by global events and global connections.
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Anh Nga Longva is Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen (Norway). She has published extensively on minority issues in Norway, the Arab Gulf, and Lebanon.
Anne Sofie Roald is Professor in Religious Studies and Senior Researcher and former head of the research program Politics of Faith at Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway. Her publications deal mainly with gender issues, conversion, multiculturalism, Islamism, and Arab media.

Contributors include: Maurits H. van den Boogert, Nazlı Çağın Bilgili, Ali Çarkoğlu, Grégoire Delhaye, Kais M. Firro, Bård Kårtveit, Catherine Le Thomas, Anh Nga Longva, Laurence Louër, Elizabeth Picard, Annika Rabo, Anne Sofie Roald, Eliz Sanasarian, Michael Stausberg, and Margit Warburg
List of Contributors

Introduction: Domination, Self-empowerment, Accommodation, Anh Nga Longva

1. Millets: Past and Present, Maurits H. van den Boogert
2. From the Dhimma to the Capitulations: Memory and Experience of Protection in Lebanon, Anh Nga Longva
3. Contemporary Muslim-Christian Relations in Egypt: Local Dynamics and Foreign Influences, Grégoire Delhaye
4. Land, Law, and Family Protection in the West Bank, Bård Kårtveit
5. Conviviality and Conflict in Contemporary Aleppo, Annika Rabo
6. Freedom of Religion in Sudan, Anne Sofie Roald
7. From Power to Powerlessness: Zoroastrianism in Iranian History. Michael Stausberg
8. Bahaʾis of Iran: Power, Prejudices, and Persecution, Margit Warburg

9. Shiʿi Identity Politics in Saudi Arabia, Laurence Louër
10. Nationalism and Confessionalism: Shiʿis, Druzes and Alawis in Syria and Lebanon, Kais M. Firro
11. Education and Minority Empowerment in the Middle East, Catherine Le Thomas
12. Alevis in Turkish Politics, Ali Çarkoğlu and Nazlı Çağın Bilgili
13. Nationalism and Religion in Contemporary Iran, Eliz Sanasarian

Conclusion: Nation-Building and Minority Rights in the Middle East, Elizabeth Picard

All those interested in the sociology of religion, majority/minority and ethnic relations, nationalism, state and nation-building, the politics of citizenship, human rights, and the Middle East in general.
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