The Saudi Revolution and the Sunni Shiite Conflict
Dr. Hillel Fradkin:
The Saudi Revolution and the Sunni/Shi’a Conflict
Fieldstead and Company, Irvine, CA, January 14, 2018
Fieldstead and Company welcomed Dr. Hillel Fradkin for a topical discussion of the events currently unfolding in the Middle East as well as the historic and complex divisions within Islam. The current climate of reform in Saudi Arabia has taken many by surprise, but as Dr. Fradkin explains these developments have been long in the making. As the political landscape of the modern Middle East has been shifting dramatically in recent years, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have remained islands of relative stability. In the wake of the devastating conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the emergence of ISIS, the very serious bouts of unrest in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the civil war in Yemen and the ongoing conflict between Israel and its Muslim neighbors (both symmetric and asymmetric conflicts), many are perplexed and unnerved as to where things are going and what the implications for the wider world may be. Coming to light amid these developments is the resurgent rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as both vie for regional dominance.
Dr. Fradkin also explains the terrific schism between Sunni and Shi’a Islam, a complicated fundamental conflict at the heart of the Muslim experience that has dramatically shaped modern Middle Eastern politics and fostered a fractured ethno-religious situation for generations. It is this schism that lies at the heart of the divided region.
Dr. Fradkin is a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute where he directs its Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World. He is founder and co-editor (with Husain Haqqani, Eric Brown, and Hassan Mneimneh) of the Center’s Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, the leading journal on contemporary Islamism (sometimes referred to as militant or radical Islam). He is also general editor of Hudson’s monograph series on contemporary Islam and Islamism.
Fradkin received his degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1978 for work done under the direction of the late Pakistani theologian Fazlur Rahman and was also a student of Dr. Muhsin Mahdi of Harvard University. His graduate studies included work on the history of Jewish thought. He received a BA in Government from Cornell University.