Shi‘ism and Anti-Shi‘ism in Nigeria

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is home to what may be the continent’s largest Shi‘i community. Estimates for its size range as high as three million people, or somewhere between two to five percent of…

Sectarian Identity Entrepreneurs

While the media and some politicians often reiterate that Sectarianism and the Sunni-Shiʻi rivalry date back to a split in the earliest days of Islam, and are the outcome of primordial rivalries resulting from that…

Competing Victimhoods in a Sectarian Landscape

None but the hopelessly naïve or the woefully ill-informed can deny the relevance of sectarian (here meaning Sunni and Shiʿi) identities in the contemporary Middle East, particularly in the Mashriq. Equally self-evident is the centrality…

Ironic Zaydis in Yemen

In the summer of 2016, Yemen’s national poet, Abd al-Aziz Maqalih, wrote to the warring Yemeni leaders gathered for talks in Kuwait, “there are no Rafidis in Yemen, nor are there Nasibis, but the lust…