The Shia Crescent is a geo-political term used to describe a region of the Middle East where the majority population is Shi'a, or where there is a strong Shi'a minority in the population. It has been used to describe the potential for cooperation among these areas in Middle Eastern politics. The corresponding term is especially common in German, where it is known as Schiitischer Halbmond ("shia halfmoon"). This term was coined by Abdullah II, king of Jordan, after which it became popular in political debates.
The nations where Shi'a Muslims form a dominant majority are Azerbaijan, Iran, Bahrain and Iraq, a plurality inLebanon
, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India, UAE, and Syria. The shape of these countries put together does in fact resemble a crescent moon or a half moon (see map).
§ Michael Bröning: The Myth of the Shia Crescent, in: Project Syndicate May 2008 (Text is also available in French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Czech).
§ Crescent: “The Shia Crescent”, (English)
§ Die Zeit: Regime unter Druck - Nach der Irak-Wahl fürchten die arabischenNachbarnstaaten das gewachsene Selbstbewusstsein der Schiiten (German)
§ Ferhad Ibrahim: Iran und die arabische Welt, in: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 9, Bonn 2004, S. 39-47.(German)
§ Asher Susser: Aufgang des schiitischen Halbmonds, in: Internationale Politik, Nr. 9, 61. Jahr, (2006), pp. 68-.74 (German)