1) “Bold Shi’is, Frightened Sunnis, and the Making of Sectarianism after 9/11”, as part of the 9/11 Legacies Project, established by by Ameem Lutfi (Research Fellow, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore) and Kevin L. Schwartz (Research Fellow, Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences). This initiatives aims to trace how the Global War on Terror has shaped the world after 9/11.
This article highlights two unexpected Lebanese reactions to the Iranian events of 1978-79, unfolding on a world stage brimming with expectation. I pay particular attention to Lebanese Sunni Islamist and leftist thinkers. Taken together, their writings demonstrate that the revolutionary period, and the early 1980s in general, were a laboratory of both ecumenical Islam and serious attempts at forging a leftist-Islamist alliance. Islamist actors perceived Khomeini’s rise not only as an opportunity to finally do away with internal dissensions in Islam. It also brought home to them the urgency of reaching out to workers and the urban poor instead of only debating within their own echo chambers. On the left, too, excitement prevailed for much longer than we commonly assume. Leftist intellectuals in Lebanon, many of whom were born into Shi‘i families themselves, were full of admiration for Iran’s transformation after the Revolution as well as the country’s newly gained “antiimperialist” credentials.