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 »

Juxtaposition: Christian and Islamic apocalypticisms

[ by Charles Cameron — being the revised version of the second part of my previous post ] . In an earlier post, rightly critiqued by evangelical pastor-writer-filmmaker Joel Richardson, I conflated Christian and Islamic “divine law movements” with Christian and Islamic “apocalyptic movements”. They are, as Joel pointed out, not the same, though perhaps […] Read more »

Apocalypse soon from Lapido, McCants from Sources & Methods

[ by Charles Cameron — my latest for LapidoMedia gives Sunni, Shia background, & importantly the shift from Zarqawi to Baghdadi — followed by a chaser from Will McCants ] . My latest from Lapido, opening paras: TO SENIOR military officers, intelligence analysts and policy-makers, blood and guts are more real than fire and brimstone. […] Read more »

DoubleTweet: The Ayatollah & the Mufti

[ by Charles Cameron — nicely done DoubleTweet from Hasan Hafidh ] . Noting, as you no doubt know, that Sistani of Najaf, Iraq, is the “quietist” ayatollah followed by more Shiites than any other, the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran included: 'Do not say Sunni are our brothers, say they are us' – Ayatollah Sistani […] Read more »

Religious aspects of the conflict in Yemen – no easy answers

[ by Charles Cameron — an attempt to make it clear how complex the various religious affiliations in the Yemeni conflict are ] . My latest piece for LapidoMedia, briefing journalists on religious aspects of contemporary news, is now posted there under a slightly modified title: BRIEFING: The roots of conflict in Yemen – no […] Read more »

On the Prophet’s banner, and the Coming One

[ by Charles Cameron — from battle-flag to transcendent symbol ] . ** I have written so much on the topic of the black banners from Khorasan [eg], which in turn arguably derive from the black raya or battle-flag of the Prophet, that I thought these ahadith from the Shia text by Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, […] Read more »

Paris, the Prophet and his veiled face

[ by Charles Cameron — the role of iconography vs idolatry within Islam and Christianity ] . Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace tweeted an image of Muhammad today: Images of the prophet Mohammed weren't always taboo. This 16th century Persian miniature depicts his ascent to heaven — Karim Sadjadpour (@ksadjadpour) […] Read more »

DoubleTweet: equal-opportunity spoils of war

[ by Charles Cameron — as their respective flags testify, both Sunni and Shia benefit from our involuntary largesse ] . We're selling 175 new Abrams tanks to Iraq to replenish for their losses to daesh. — Patrick Megahan (@PatMegahan) December 19, 2014 U.S. weapons meant for Iraqi security forces used by Iran-backed […] 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 »

Sunday surprise: the country western / blues of Hafez

[ by Charles Cameron — at the heart not of the political entity, Iran, but of the Persian culture and people, can be found a king’s ransom in poetry and song ] . The sensual and the spiritual meet, melt, meld, merge, and dare I say it, emerge to suit each reader of the poetry […] Read more »