A trumpet voice above Trump’s

[ by Charles Cameron — for those wishing for discourse above the political fray ] . Yesterday, Sunday, I was going to post a “Sunday surprise” about a voice that transcends that of Donald Trump — the voice of Alison Balsom, trumpeter extraordinaire. But my thread linking Balsom and Trump was a slender one — […] 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 »

Yezidis / Yazidis: first gleanings

[ by Charles Cameron -- piecing together some background on a remarkable and requently misunderstood faith ] . ** Philip Kreyenbroek opens his book, Yezidism: its background, observances & textual tradition, with the words: There is probably no factor that has influenced the perception of Yezidism, both in the Middle East and in the West, [...] Read more »

Tisha b’Av and Gaza

[ by Charles Cameron -- of the Temple Mount and Noble Sanctuary, by way of Bamiyan and Timbuktu, the Cordoba Mezquita and Cathedral ] . ** Today as I write this, it is Tisha b’Av — the day on which the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem took place in 587 BCE [...] Read more »

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross twitterstreaming re Iraq & ISIS…

[ by Charles Cameron -- today's source of understanding addresses the tensions within the ISIS alliance -- with a question about the Naqshbandiyya tagged on for our readers ] . Here, including a “ramp-up” from two days ago, is a series of related tweets from Daveed G-R: Key to ISIL's advance–and quite possibly, its biggest [...] Read more »

Of Omar Hammami — and dying more than once?

[ by Charles Cameron -- dying more than once in hadith, in press reports, in Rumi and John of the Cross ] . The American mujahid in Somalia, Omar Hammami [see his Wikipedia bio], who has been tweeting back and forth with various “U.S. national security professionals” [see this Wired piece], reported yesterday that he [...] Read more »

Ashura: the Passion of Husayn

[ by Charles Cameron -- today's solemn commemorations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in comparative religious perspective ] . I was listening to Mozart‘s Requiem last night, and it is rich in grief shot through with glory. That’s the thing about mourning celebrations in which death is accompanied by the “sure and certain hope [...] Read more »

The Sufism of Zen

[ by Charles Cameron -- double-quoting a remark taken from Zen's most recent post with a Sufi teaching tale out of Idries Shah ] . . Zen – Zenpundit, Mark Safranski (above) that is — had a powerful comment about “the emaciated Somali followers of a two-bit warlord, Mohammed Farah Aidid, gleefully swarming over and [...] Read more »