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 »

Intellectuals and their Romance with Political Barbarism

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Martin Heidegger, Eric Hobsbawm and Ezra Pound A  meandering post inspired by Reason Magazine and Charles Cameron. is best known for giving a scrappy libertarian take on current events, crime, technology and pop culture, but recently, an article by Charles Paul Freund touched a deeper, darker vein of twentieth century history […] 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 »

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 »

ISIS and the Crisis in American Statecraft

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] A Facebook friend with an astute comment pointed me toward this Wall Street Journal article by Joe Rago on the mission of General John Allen, USMC  as “Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL”. What is a “Special Presidential Envoy” ? In diplomatic parlance, a special envoy is […] 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 »