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Asia Watch: Pronouncements and Pragmatism

Asia Watch: Pronouncements and Pragmatism Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

Fresh from hosting 57 countries over March 13-14 at a special two-day Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on the Palestinian question, Indonesia's diplomatic foray into the issue was set to be symbolically crowned with the opening of an honorary consulate in Ramallah and meetings with P

Asia Watch: Soft Power

Asia Watch: Soft Power Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Israel's push to gain ground in Asia is nothing if not multifaceted and the growing trade and cultural links may yet reap political benefits over the long-term.  Much has been said already of the interest Israel's hi-tech industries are generating in Asia. Countries like Singapore and Chi

Nuclear Outsourcing to Pyongyang?

Nuclear Outsourcing to Pyongyang? Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran     Author: Emily B. Landau & Alon Levkowitz

There is a strong possibility that Iran will continue to benefit from North Korea's nuclear advances, and some of Iran's nuclear activities might take place in North Korea itself, using the "hermit state" as a convenient backyard.

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Essay: Antisemitism as Political Tool

Essay: Antisemitism as Political Tool Categories: Antisemitism, Asia     Author: Jon Emont

Malaysia is in political and economic crisis as it has been, now, for many months, due to a huge and still unresolved corruption scandal featuring a mysterious US$700 million that was transferred into a bank account belonging to the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak. The money arrived just before

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Asia Watch: On the Crest of a Wave?

Asia Watch: On the Crest of a Wave? Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

The explosions that rocked downtown Jakarta in broad daylight on Jan. 14 surprised only those who were unlucky enough to be in the vicinity at that time. There had been hints of what was to come for weeks. After the coordinated attacks across Paris in November, Bahrun Naim, a former Internet caf&ea

ISIL's bid to unite Southeast Asian jihadists

ISIL's bid to unite Southeast Asian jihadists Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

The pathways to recruitment to ISIL are slightly different than in the past. In Indonesia, ISIL has been able to graft onto much of JI's social network, owing in large part to people such as Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and Abdurrahman Aman's early pledges of allegiance to ISIL. In addition to JI's mosques, m

Asia Watch: Paying The Price

Asia Watch: Paying The Price Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

A two-minute video posted on a shortlived Facebook account of Abu Sayyaf leader Muammar Askali provided enough evidence as to how a small, radical Islamist terror group in an obscure, isolated corner of the Philippines can survive and even thrive.

Asia Watch: Close encounters

Asia Watch: Close encounters Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

The moment came and went in seconds. Yet, the chance encounter between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Israeli counterpart Binyamin Netanyahu in a corridor at the United Nations building in New York generated a torrent of chatter. Najib explained that he had bumped into Netanyahu at a

Asia Watch: In and out of focus

Asia Watch: In and out of focus Categories: Asia, China, Terrorism, Turkey     Author: Michael Shannon

Despite the saturation coverage and the massive police and intelligence effort, information on the perpetrators of the Bangkok bombing has been slow to emerge, with lines of inquiry centring on possible retaliation for the Thai government's decision to deport more than 100 Uighur refugees to China i

Asia Watch: Enemies real and imagined Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Indonesia's historic reputation for religious tolerance took a beating for several years as an unholy coalition of Islamist politicians and self-styled enforcers like the Islamic Defenders Front harassed and sometimes violently attacked minorities, including Christians and Shi'ites, Sufi and Ahmadiy

The Last Word: The beginning of a new era?

The Last Word: The beginning of a new era? Categories: Asia, Australasia, Interfaith Dialogue     Author: Jeremy Jones

There is a wonderful Indonesian celebration known as Hallal bi Hallal. Shortly after the end of Ramadan, Indonesian Muslims, and their guests, gather to strengthen interpersonal bonds and make peace with each other, just as during Ramadan they had been concentrating on their relationship to, an

Asia Watch: Fear and Loathing Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Such is the mesmerising effect of atrocities perpetrated by ISIS that any act committed in its name appears only to be the tip of the iceberg. Far from its epicentre in Syria and Iraq, the spate of ‘lone-wolf' attacks means that Islamic groups and individuals expressing any identification with

Asia Watch: Breaking Point Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Since the 2013 election, UMNO and particularly Prime Minister Najib Razak has courted PAS by murmuring tacit acquiescence for its plans to institute hudud (Islamic law backed by harsh medieval punishments) in an effort to break up the opposition coalition. Now PAS appears set to align itself with UM

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Asia Watch: Across the Spectrum Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

Support for the Palestinian cause and antipathy towards Israel is a rare point of agreement in the bare-knuckled Malaysian political debate. But there are outliers, like the hardline Muslim NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Malaysian Muslim Solidarity) - known as ISMA. The move by the Vatican to recogn

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