Sectarian geopolitics in two easy tweets just yesterday

[ by Charles Cameron — you could start from this polarity and build out to cover the tensions of the world ] . This: Saudi Arabia’s top cleric says Iran’s leaders ‘not Muslims’ via @WSJ — El_Grillo (@El_Grillo1) September 6, 2016 is an instance of this: When Iran's regime criticizes KSA's regime, or KSA's […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

Of border crossings, and the pilgrimage to Arbaeen in Karbala

[ by Charles Cameron — as one headline put it, 20 Million Shia Muslims Brave Isis by Making Pilgrimage to Karbala ] . You may remember IS / Daesh bulldozing the berm separating Syria and Iraq (upper image, below) not so long ago: Putting that into perspective is this image from the border between Iran […] Read more »

The Cockroaches of War. And of Jihad

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a "zen"] John Robb had a cool post on the ultra-radical takfiri insurgency ISIS/ISIL and their self-proclaimed Sunni “Caliphate“, the Islamic State, whom he gave as an example of “the cockroaches of war”: ISIS Opens The World’s Biggest Bazaar of Violence ISIS is a marketplace — a freewheeling bazaar of violence – and it is [...] Read more »

Nomenclature, ISIS and beyond

[ by Charles Cameron -- accuracy in naming, and the potentially dire consequences of theological insults ] . On February 3rd, Hassan Hassan, a columnist for the English daily The National in the UAE, wrote a piece titled Five Reasons Why It Is Stupid To Say ISIL Instead of ISIS for Al Qaeda in Iraq [...] Read more »

DoubleQuoting ISIS – or charity with vengeance

[ by Charles Cameron -- who believes two well-juxtaposed images are (almost) worth a thousand words from Aaron Zelin ] . It’s almost idyllic, isn’t it — Mosul, with its river, it’s bridge and avenues and trees, as presented by ISIS on the cover of the third issue of its Islamic State Report (upper panel, [...] Read more »

The ISIS flood in my twitterstream today 2: big picture

[ by Charles Cameron -- an attempt to "curate" the onrush of news, hitting the high points on a low, low morning ] . I have tried to keep the tweets here limited to their own texts, with illustrations only where essential, and without “parent tweets” and other encumbrances. Even so, it’s a long read [...] Read more »

The destruction of the Shrine of Uways in Raqqa, Syria

[ by Charles Cameron -- the destruction by ISIS of the shrine of a remarkable Muslim saint, to be followed by a glimpse of the man himself ] . First, the destruction of the shrine of Uways in Raqqa: Before: I am not sure when the picture was taken, but it was clearly before the [...] Read more »

Central African Republic: the works of corporal mercy

[ by Charles Cameron -- homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto ] . Even today — even in the midst of what amounts to mutual sectarian cleansing — there are glimmers of hope to be found in the thought that Christians and Muslims lived amicably enough side by side in the CAR for [...] Read more »

DoubleQuote in the Wild: Maurits Escher & Juan Cole

[ by Charles Cameron -- mainly because I'll post MC Escher any chance I get ] . I’m often but by no means always a fan of JR Cole. In this instance, though, I’d say he’s built a fine “wild” DoubleQuote out of his own observation and the Escher print he “quotes” in this tweet: [...] Read more »