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Middle Eastern Leaders and Islam

A Precarious Equilibrium


Sonia Alianak

This book breaks down and elucidates the relationships between the several leaders of an increasingly religious Middle East. Considering Islamic religious figures as well as the political leaders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, it explains how, in times of crisis, these leaders counter the influences of moderate and extremist Islamists with Islam itself. Each uses an interpretation of the religion to effect equilibrium amongst their people, thus generating relative stability for their rule. As a result, many leaders have enjoyed remarkable longevity of power, and some have managed to obtain legitimate political ends. This book goes beyond state- and society-centered theories to focus on the dynamic interactions between the rulers and the ruled, shedding new light on how international crises create domestic crises, and suggesting new solutions to the Middle East’s international problems.