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Political Themes of Huthi Movement Leaders in Yemen

Cover of the book "The Huthi Movement in Yemen"

CMES affiliated researcher Mohammed Almahfali has authored the chapter "Transformation of Dominant Political Themes from the Founder to the Current Leader of the Huthi Movement".

Mohammed's chapter is part of the edited volume The Huthi Movement in Yemen: Ideology, Ambition and Security in the Arab Gulf (2022, editor Abdullah Hamidaddin). The book brings together the leading experts on Yemen from diverse disciplines to provide readers with a nuanced and multi-layered approach to the understanding the Huthi movement.

Mohammed's chapter (chapter 2) analyzes the political discourse of the Huthi movement by examining the two primary entities that represent the movement’s discourse and work to direct its path, which are the Malazim of  Husayn Badr al-Din al-Huthi , the founder of the movement, and the speeches of Abdulmalik Badr al-Din al-Huthi , the current leader of the Huthis. Forty of Husayn’s lectures and of Abdulmalik’s forty speeches were selected. Then, using the Ghawwas application to extract the most 20 frequent words in both discourses, which enabled us to define the dominant political terms and compare the two discourses. Also, it helped us to use other Critical Discourse Analysis approaches to dig deeply into the political themes and follow up semantics based on empirical data, discovering how the themes emerge and disappear, and linking these findings to the political and social situations.The chapter revealed half of the dominant political themes present in both speeches, and especially showed the dominance of religion over the entire discourse. It also showed that the bigoted language against Jews and Christian was strong and explicit in  Husayn’s lectures, while it was indirect in the language of Abdulmalik, and that political terms became more dominant in Abdulmalik’s speech, in line with the movement’s transformation from a movement to a quasi-state. The chapter also showed the shift in identification, from the transnational level at which Malazim discourse argued to the local level dominant in Abdulmalik’s speeches.

Read more about the book here

Mohammed Almahfali's staff page