Understanding Sectarianism in MENA countries: What are the understandings of sectarianism in MENA countries, including economic, social, and political aspects?
Key findings: There is some debate about how sectarianism, particularly as it relates to the Middle East is commonly conceptualised. For many in the Middle East, it has come to be defined as the process of ascribing political and social claims or rights on the basis of religious adherence and belonging. However, scholars stress the importance of developing an appropriate conceptual framework if the history and politics of the region are to be adequately understood. They argue that rather than emphasising the religious aspect of sectarianism, analysts should see it as “politics organized along sectarian lines”. it is important to historicise and trace the evolution of specific sectarian arrangements, laws, institutions, and structures in the modern Middle East. In this way, sectarianism can be understood as the process by which, religious groups, operating within a common historical context, compete for power and influence within specific national political spaces as defined by particular state borders.
Full response: http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/HD766.pdf