The Arab Shi’a: The Forgotten Muslims

The Arab Shi’a: The Forgotten Muslims

This is the first book to examine the Arab Shi’a, a community whose identity and problematic relationship with the rest of the Middle East cuts to the heart of the crisis of Arab politics and society. The Shi’a represent a majority of the population along the Arab coast of the Persian Gulf and are the largest religious group in Lebanon. This book, based on extensive field interviews, examines the nature of Shi’ite belief and community life, contemporary political and social problems, key grievances, and the nature of their relationship with the dominant Sunni state today as they seek a major voice in a new political order.

Reviews 

“This book is especially valuable for policy considerations….” —New York Times Book Review

“In this lucid, highly readable, and timely book, Fuller and Francke provide an interesting and informative analysis of the travail of the Shi’a politics in the Arab world and explain various patterns of discrimination against the Arab Shi’a.” —Library Journal

“…a sympathetic account of Shi’ah political problems in the select numbe of Arab countries and presents a long-range view of politics in the region…” —Islamic Studies

“Within the Arab world, the Sunni population constitutes the majority and wields political power in every Arab state today. However, there are significant Shi’a communities in key Arab countries, and they constitute the majority of the population in Iraq and Bahrain and the plurality in Lebanon. For historical and political reasons, the Shi’a have fared rather poorly in much of the Arab world, and the topic of Shi’ism and Shi’a groups are among the most sensitive issues for the Sunni elite. In this lucid, highly readable, and timely book, Fuller, a RAND Corporation Middle East specialist, and Francke, executive director of the Iraq Foundation, provide an interesting and informative analysis of the travail of the Shi’a politics in the Arab world and explain various patterns of discrimination against the Arab Shi’a. This volume will appeal to scholars and informed readers alike and is a much-needed book in this neglected area of Arab politics. Recommended for academic and public libraries.” Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL