Turkey’s anti-Gulen campaign: Strengthening militants and jihadists


https://mideastsoccer.blogspot.com/2016/07/turkeys-anti-gulen-campaign.htmlBy James M. Dorsey A Turkish demand that Pakistan close 28 primary and secondary schools associated with controversial, self-exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen has put the government in Islamabad in a quandary as it attempts to get a grip on an education sector in which militant Islamists and jihadists figure prominently. Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan … [Read more…]

Who is Fethullalh Gulen? A modernizer or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?


By James M. Dorsey Believers say he preaches a new, modern form of Islam. Critics charge he is a power hungry wolf in sheep’s clothing preparing to convert secular Turkey into an Islamic republic; a conspirator who has created a state within the state and attempted this weekend to topple democratically elected Turkish President Recep … [Read more…]

Sports: A barometer of Saudi reform


By James M. Dorsey Mohammed Simsim, the president of the Saudi Arabian Weightlifting Federation, embodies existential dilemmas involved in Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s effort to reform and diversify the kingdom’s energy dependent and public sector driven economy. To achieve his goal of turning the kingdom into a 21st century economy that no … [Read more…]

​Fanbotschaften kritisieren französische Polizei – Faszination Fankurve

Die Fanbotschaften, die während der Europameisterschaft in Frankreich zahlreiche Fans aus ganz Europa betreuten, haben nun ein Fazit zum Turnier verfasst. Darin kritisieren sie das Verhalten der französische Polizei, vor allem in der Vorrunde. Später hätte man die Fanbotschaften mit einbezogen. Quelle: Fanbotschaften kritisieren französische Polizei – Faszination Fankurve

Jihad v. Soccer: The Islamic State’s convoluted love-hate relationship


By James M. Dorsey If the Islamic State (IS) was serious about attacking Euro 2016, its plans clearly never materialized. Leaked transcripts of the interrogation of one of the attackers of Brussels Airport in March leave little doubt however that soccer figures prominently on the group’s target list. So does this month’s beheading in Raqqa … [Read more…]

Saudi soccer crisis: A microcosm of what reform means for the kingdom


https://mideastsoccer.blogspot.sg/2016/07/saudi-soccer-crisis-microcosm-of-what.htmlBy James M. Dorsey A match fixing scandal and a financial crisis in Saudi soccer provide a microcosm of the daunting task and pitfalls involved in Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plans to reform and diversify the kingdom’s oil dependent economy, streamline its governance, and upgrade its autocracy. The Saud Arabian Football Federation’s handling of … [Read more…]