Gilles Kepel

Gilles Kepel is a professor at the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris and the author of The Revenge of God, Jihad, and The War for Muslim Minds, all available in English as well as French.

Recent Articles

Shia Power and the West

Reaching for Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World by Yitzhak Nakash (Princeton University Press, 226 pages, $19.95) The Shia Revival: How conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future by Vali Nasr (W.W. Norton, 287 pages, $25.95) The rise of Shia political parties in U.S.-occupied Iraq, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's violent verbal attacks on Israel, the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, and the war in Lebanon have put political Shiism back on the world's agenda. Political Shiism made headlines when Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Tehran after the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979, and it stayed on the front pages during the 1980s, with Shia Hezbollah taking Western hostages in Lebanon. After Khomeini's death in 1989, however, Western political concern about Islam focused more on Sunni movements engaged in jihad worldwide -- most notably, al-Qaeda. Not only did attention to Shiism fade during the past decade. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, just when a...