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Cinema and Society in Iran: 1900s to Present

Cinema and Society in Iran: 1900s to Present

Ever since the humble beginnings of Iranian Cinema in the early 1900’s, directors have used the movie screen as a platform to make commentary on Iranian politics, religion, and everyday life. In the fifties, sixties, and seventies, Iran was one of the most prominent countries in the Middle East for cinema. After a brief decline(…)

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The Divine Beauty of Islamic Art

The Divine Beauty of Islamic Art

Upon looking up at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, one cannot but feel a sense of awe. The golden dome and the octagonal building upon which it sits are engraved in verses of the Qur’an and ordained with elaborate, interconnected geometric shapes in rich green, blue, and gold. On this building, which was built(…)

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Muslim Modernity in a Postcolonial World

Muslim Modernity in a Postcolonial World

In the centuries following the revelations of prophet Muhammad, Muslim society was at the forefront of modernity and scientific thought. In the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, while Europe was in the peak of its dark ages of paganism, feudal warfare, and barbarism, Muslim societies were blossoming, making significant strides in the realms of philosophy,(…)

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Successes and Failures of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

Successes and Failures of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

Starting around the same time in the 15th century, The Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Empire, and the Mughal Empire established control over what would become three of the greatest and most expansive empires in world history, let alone Islamic history. At its peak, the Ottoman Empire spread from the gates of Vienna in the North(…)

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Ilan Ackelsberg: Elements of the Islamic Worldview

Ilan Ackelsberg: Elements of the Islamic Worldview

Over the last thousand years, the Islamic worldview has been shaped and formed by many important factors. As early as the years of prophet Muhammad, Muslim society has been shaping a very special worldview and drawing from a variety of different sources. Over the many years of Islamic scholarship and thought, Muslims have drawn from(…)

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Ian Ackelsberg: Islam and the Sciences

Ian Ackelsberg: Islam and the Sciences

Muslim societies were largely responsible for many concepts that became the foundations of the European renaissance. Not only did Muslim scholars create mathematical concepts that the modern world still functions on today, they also were responsible for bringing some of the most important philosophies of ancient Greece back to Europe after they had mostly been(…)

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Ilan Ackelsberg: Muhammad and 7th Century Arabia

Ilan Ackelsberg: Muhammad and 7th Century Arabia

7th century Arabia was the perfect place for a great new religion to be born. Centered between the Persian and Byzantine empires, Arabia was exposed to ideas and religions that are crucial to Islam. Trade routes sliced through Arabia between the Christian west and Zoroastrian east, and Arabs were in constant contact with people from(…)

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