From Iranian Shi’ization to colonization in Syria to establish Shiʿi territorial contiguity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, we have been witnessing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s process of Shi’ization in Syria and Iraq which has been labelled Al-tabshir al-shii or tashayu by prominent Arab and Muslim clerics. These include Yusuf al-Qaradhawi and Wahbe al- Zahili, a prominent Syrian Sunni cleric who saw this expansion as an aggression that ‘must be stopped’. In 2005 Abdallah II, the king of the Hashemite Kingdom, warned that the ‘Shi’ite Crescent’ circling Jordan from Khorasan in Iran all the way to Lebanon was expanding. The terms Al-tabshir al-Shii or tashayu describe this Shi’ization not only as a religious process but also as a process with geopolitical intentions–that is as an expansion of Shiʿi influence into lands, territories, and states. The main argument of this article is that Iran, with much help from the Syrian regime and Russia turning a blind eye, has been using the methods of colonization to settle Shi’ites in non-Shi’ite territories. Iran’s clear goal is to build a continuous land link between Iran, Iraq and Syria that will extend straight into the mainland of Lebanon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1036
Number of pages13
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022


  • Colonialism
  • Hezbollah
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Lebanon
  • Shi’ization
  • Syria


Dive into the research topics of 'From Iranian Shi’ization to colonization in Syria to establish Shiʿi territorial contiguity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this