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Banal Geopolitics Resumed

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Jazira. Arabic for “island and “peninsula”. The conventional word for the Arabian Peninsula, or what in English, but not in Arabic, is termed “Arabia”. Used as a name for the pan-Arab satellite TV station based in Qatar since 1996. Also used by Osama bin Laden for Saudi Arabia, a name he rejects, jazirat Muhammad, “the peninsula of [the Prophet] Muhammad”. The use of this inclusive term by the al-Qa'ida leader would seem to imply, (i) that all of the Arabian Peninsula is one territory, with no distinction between Saudi Arabia, which is four-fifths of the territory, and the other six states, Yemen, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates; and (ii) that the whole of this territory, not just the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and their environs are sacred territory (see Mecca). The former assumption is seen by non-Saudis as an expression of expansionism, the latter has no legal or scriptural foundation. (Halliday 2002:15)

Usual: accustomed … traditional; in character, natural, household, familiar … banal, commonplace, common, ordinary (Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases 1984:258)
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117570;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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