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The US-Saudi-Iranian Rivalry
As the Middle East descends further into a maelstrom of violence and chaos, the new conventional wisdom in Western media and policy circles attributes this state of affairs to supposedly ancient sectarian hatreds, primordial forces that make violent conflict inevitable and intractable. Danny Postel will challenge this new conventional wisdom and suggest an alternative explanation for the recent spike in sectarian violence in the Middle East. He will show how various conflicts in the region have morphed from non-sectarian and non-violent movements into sectarian battles and civil wars. He will also explore how this poisonous process might be reversed and how US policy could help deescalate rather than exacerbate the problem. About Danny Postel: Danny Postel is Assistant Director of the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University. He is the author of Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran (2006) and co-editor of three books, The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future (2010), The Syria Dilemma (2013), and Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (2017). His work has appeared in The American Prospect, Boston Review, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Dissent, The Guardian, In These Times, Middle East Policy, The Nation, The New Humanist, The New York Times, The Progressive, and The Washington Post.

Ethical Humanist Society

7574 N. Lincoln Avenue · Skokie, IL

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    The Ethical Humanist Society ( is a self-governing, inclusive, caring community--providing a home to those who seek a rational, compassionate philosophy of life without regard to belief or non-belief in a supreme being. See

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