Monday, March 15, 2010

The Arab/Israeli Conflict, the Middle East & the Islamic World: A Few Resources

For readers wanting to learn more about the Arab (and in particular Palestinian)/Israeli conflict, or about the Middle East, or about the Islamic world in general (a vast majority of Muslims residing outside the Middle East and North Africa), I’ve assembled the following list of websites that should prove helpful. It’s not meant to be at all comprehensive and it reflects my personal preferences insofar as I’m fond of these sites for one reason or another. If you know of something you think would be worthy of addition, please send it along and I’ll consider adding it to the list (i.e., there’s no guarantee I’ll include it but I’ll certainly give it fair consideration). I’m interested in according attention to viewpoints not widely available in the mainstream media as well as political perspectives that receive little support among our political leaders or are unknown in any more than a superficial or distorted sense among the educated public in this country.

Al Ahram Weekly

Al Haq: “defending human rights in the occupied Palestinian occupied territory since 1979.”

The Arab Association for Human Rights (Association in Service of the Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel): “founded in 1988 by lawyers and community activists, [it] is an independent, grassroots, non-governmental organization (NGO), registered in Israel. HRA works to promote and protect the political, civil, economic, and cultural rights of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel from an international human rights perspective.”

B'Tselem: “The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.”

Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion (Professor Juan R.I. Cole)

The Institute of Ismaili Studies: “The Institute of Ismaili Studies was established in 1977 to promote scholarship of Muslim cultures and societies, historical as well as contemporary, leading to a better understanding of their relationship with other societies and faiths.”

Islamic Law in Our Times: A Realist’s Assessment of Contemporary Islamic Law (Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi)

The Islamic Texts Society: “The Islamic Texts Society is a publishing house founded in 1981 and registered as an educational charity in the UK (reg. no. 283832). The Society produces English translations of works of traditional importance to the Islamic faith and culture, including editions of hitherto unpublished manuscripts, and also sponsors contemporary works on Islamic subjects by scholars from all parts of the world. The Society hopes thereby to promote a greater understanding of Islam among both Muslims and non-Muslims, catering for laypersons as well as academics in the field of Islamic studies.”
The Islamic Texts Society

The Middle East Research and Information Project: “The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) was established in 1971. The original conception of MERIP was to provide information and analysis on the Middle East that would be picked up by the existing media. Issue number one of MERIP Reports, published in May 1971, was a six-page mimeographed publication with three brief articles. Throughout 1971 and 1972, the Report appeared irregularly, and it was only in 1973 that the group made a commitment to publish it on a regular basis. Since then, MERIP has never looked back and, in the words of French journalist Eric Rouleau, “No person, specializing or not in Middle Eastern affairs, can afford ignoring Middle East Report.” Professor Rashid Khalidi, a leading American scholar, says “Middle East Report is the best periodical (in English) on the Middle East -- bar none.” MERIP is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC. A completely independent organization, it has no links to any religious, educational or political organizations in the US or elsewhere. Income needed to produce the magazine is earned from subscriptions to Middle East Report, small grants from European and American foundations and gifts from readers and subscribers.”
MERIP - Middle East Research and Information Project

Middle East Online
Middle East Online

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR): “A central principle of PCHR's work is that a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region, as well as the healthy development of Palestinian society, must be built on a foundation of respect for human rights and democratic principles.”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel: “PCATI advocates for all persons - Israelis, Palestinians, labor immigrants and other foreigners in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) – in order to protect them from torture and ill treatment by the Israeli interrogation and law enforcement authorities. These include the Israel Police, the General Security Service (GSS), the Israel Prison Service and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). PCATI acts in accordance with moral and democratic values, and the standards set in Israeli and International law. PCATI was founded in 1990 in reaction to the ongoing policy of the Israeli government, which permitted the systematic use of torture and ill treatment in GSS interrogations.”

SSRN/Islamic Law & Law of the Muslim World Research Paper Series

My bibliography for Islamic Studies is here:

My bibliography for the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is here.

The image is courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Cross-posted at


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