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Protestantism and Catholicism must not be compared to Sunnism and Shi’ism in the Islamic context as has been done by certain scholars. Sunnism and Shi’ism both go back to the origins of Islam and the very beginning of Islamic history whereas Protestantism is a later protest against the existing Catholic Church and came into being some fifteen hundred years after the foundation of Christianity.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933)

Source: A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Modern World

Report: Iran Support for Hamas Rekindled - Tehran sending money to Gaza to fund arms smuggling, arsenal rebuilding, senior source says, after two-year hiatus. - 1 February 2015

Iran has resumed transferring funds to Hamas, a senior defense source told Walla! News Sunday, after nearly two years of estrangement between the two terror regimes.
The transfers resumed shortly after Operation Protective Edge in Gaza ended in August, the source said. The sources were unable to elaborate on the exact monetary amount transferred to Gaza, but he said it was “significant” - and that Iran is also actively pledging support for terror groups along Israel’s southern border to keep fighting against the Jewish state.
Moreover, Iranian money will help Hamas arm itself with more advanced weaponry, after much of their arsenal was destroyed during Protective Edge and due to Egypt’s war on terror in the Sinai significantly hindering Hamas’s arms supply.
Hamas’s other arms suppliers are tiring of the group, he added, noting “even Sudan is not as much of a main waystation as it used to be.”
The senior defense official said that the organization’s “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades, is back to making its own rockets, and also has increased the rate of “test launches” into the Mediterranean Sea.
"Hamas is back to making rockets at a rate greater than in the past, but since its members do not use standard and quality materials, assembly line workers are required to conduct experiments to see if they work," he added. "They launch them into the sea as part of the experiment, but also to create deterrence against Israel. To show that they have quietly built up their power again."
Iran was once a stronger supporter of Hamas, but the two have been at odds over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. As a result of Hamas’ refusal to support Assad in the uprising, an angry Iran reportedly stopped supplying the terror group with weapons.
Nevertheless, the two sides have been getting closer in recent months. The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, recently boasted that Iran provided Hamas with the technology it has used to rain down rockets on Israel from Gaza, and Hamas later thanked Iran for providing the group with the rockets.
Following the Hamas’s delegation visit to Tehran, some Palestinian media outlets had reported that Saudi Arabia had called certain Hamas officials to voice its displeasure with the visit. Hamas officials, however, subsequently denied the reports, according to Turkish media outlets.

People in the West often cannot understand the difference between people who are Arab and Iranian. Iranians are not Arabs and we do not speak Arabic and we don’t write in Arabic, but we have the same alphabet, and you know also that Western audiences often rush to think that everything that we write is excerpted from the Koran, which I would never do. It would be so sacrilegious, and my texts are all Iranian text, Farsi text, and they’re all poetry. And another frustrating thing is that when I speak about my work, about my subject, people don’t understand that I’m really talking about Iran. I’m not talking about the entire Muslim world, because that relationship to Islam is specific to each country’s political history and about their specific relationship to Islam, in terms of whether it is an authentic religion, whether it was brought in by force, whether it was a secular religion or a non secular religion, so unfortunately there is in the West that rush to generalizing when representing me as someone who makes work about Muslim women. I don’t do that. I’m very specifically talking about Iran.
—  Shirin Neshat
Asylum Seekers sent back...


1. People fled Iraq and Iran to come to Australia.

2. We put them in PNG in Manus Island detention. They suffer awful horrors there for yonks.

3. PNG now says ‘I think most of them are economic migrants so I’m gonna ship em back to Iraq and Iran.’

CLIFF NOTES: People fled torture. Then we tortured them more. Then sent them back for torture.

The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower

By Norman Solomon

Sterling was one of the very few African American case officers in the CIA. He became a whistleblower by virtue of going through channels to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2003 to inform staffers about the CIA’s ill-conceived, poorly executed and dangerous Operation Merlin, which had given a flawed design for a nuclear weapons component to Iran back in 2000.


Detail of the Archangel Gabriel from a Safavid Cope or Jacket
Iran (c. 1605)
Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A says:

Dating from about 1605, the cope combines Christian iconography together with the typical Safavid floral motifs and is unique in that it was clearly woven as a Cope rather than being made into a vestment from some other textile. Its history is unknown but it came to the Museum as fragments…

Taking the crucifixion scene on the centre back as the measuring point, the design of the two halves of the cope are predominantly worked as mirror images of each other. The figures of the Angel Gabriel and of the Virgin Mary are symmetrically placed so when the cope is worn these figures face each other. 

No close-up of the Virgin Mary, sadly. The essay also notes that there’s some faded Armenian text on the fabric.


Persian Cylinder Seal, Achaemenid Period, c. 5th Century BC

This striding bull carved in chalcedony recalls Greek gems of the fifth century in its exquisite engraving and spacious background. It can be dated in that period by analogy with a seal impression on a tablet of the time of Darius and Xerxes.