What is the religious makeup of Middle Eastern countries? How does this affect the fragility of countries?
As Bernard Lewis wrote in The Multiple Identities of the Middle East, the region is made up of “old and deep-rooted identities” and that
not nationality, not citizenship, not descent, but religion, or more precisely membership of a religious community, is the ultimate determinant of identity.
Knowing the strength and geographical spread of these identities is crucial for identifying potential fault lines and devising measures to reduce their saliency. Stability in many places depends on ensuring political settlements are inclusive. Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, and Yemen are all struggling to find a proper balance in their deeply divided states.
This map shows detail from Egypt to Afghanistan and everything in between.