Iran

Iran

A recap of our favorite bits of curiosity from this week, including epistolary correspondence, Krista re-entering the Twitter fray, and a revival post. And a whole lot more!

A.E. Lefton on Bahá’í leaders being persecuted and imprisoned in Iran — and how they remind her of the sacrifice and the richness of human life.

Kurdish girlModernity meets history. A Kurdish girl in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq wears traditional clothes while peeking out from a sunroof. (photo: Ahmed Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

We seek fresh insight into the history and the human and religious dynamics of Islam's Sunni-Shia divide. Our guest says that it is not so different from dynamics in periods of Western Christian history. But he says that by bringing the majority Shia to power in Iraq, the U.S. has changed the religions dynamics of the Middle East.

One of the world's leading experts on torture, Iranian-American political scientist Darius Rejali discusses, in particular, how democracies change torture and are changed by it. In the wake of Wikileaks revelations about torture in U.S.-occupied Iraq, we explore how his knowledge might deepen our public discourse about such practices -- and inform our collective reckoning with consequences yet to unfold.

The 13th-century Muslim mystic and poet Rumi has long shaped Muslims around the world and has now become popular in the West. Rumi created a new language of love within the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism. We hear his poetry as we delve into his world and listen for its echoes in our own.

The greatest threat in the post-Cold War world, says Douglas Johnston, is the prospective marriage of religious extremism with weapons of mass destruction. Yet the U.S. spends most of its time, resources, and weapons fighting the symptoms of this threat, not the cause. The diplomacy of the future, he is showing, must engage religion as part of the strategic solution to global conflicts.

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A powerful commentary from Melody Moezzi on Iranian leaders perverting religion and the true soul of its people.

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