A Motion Picture

In Iran

What's Really Happening In Iran

Four years after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared there are no gays in Iran during a speech at Columbia University, an Iranian-American filmmaker courageously portrays an unusual story of two Iranian lesbians who struggle under religious and cultural repression to explore their sexuality. See Sikhism and Homosexuality.


Four reasons for the ongoing divide
between Sunni and Shia Muslims

First, consider the basic principles at odds in the Sunni-Shia divide. It all started the day after Prophet Mohammed died on June 8th, 632 A.D.

. Shia believe that Mohammed’s cousin Ali, who was the first-born Muslim, should have become leader after the Prophet’s death. Sunni claimed that Abu Bakr, the prophet’s father-in-law and closest and eldest confidante, should be leading Muslims. This led to a discussion of the rights of leadership and succession. In short: Shia believe that leadership should be passed through a blood-line from the prophet and Sunni believe leadership has nothing to do with blood lineage and should be based on the qualifications of a leader.

. This tension continued and took many shapes and forms including fighting between what became known as Shias (followers of Ali) and Sunnis (followers of the other Caliphs who came after the Prophet, which many years later included Ali). The tension heightened in 680 AD, 48 years after the Prophet’s death, when a showdown took place in Karbala, a city in Southern Iraq, where the grandchildren and other male heirs of Mohammed were killed to stop them from leading a rebellion. The uprising was called for by the people, then living under an oppressive Caliph. By all accounts, that incident was a massacre, as an army surrounded 72 family members of the Prophet Mohammed and killed every man and boy without a fight. Shia commemorate the event on the Day of Ashura, when they beat themselves to atone for their inaction and betrayal of the Prophet’s family. Sunnis respond that, well, that was politics and politics is dirty.

. The Sunni’s stance led Shia to reject politics as impure and argue that religion and the secular affairs of the state should always be separated. This is reflected in the fact that most Shia did not join government ranks of employment, leading them to occupy the extremes of wealth or poverty as they took on the merchant roles -- risky ventures, with big potential payoffs but no job security -- while the Sunnis became the middle class with secure government paychecks.

This separation of state and religion changed with the Iranian revolution, when Khomeini upended centuries of belief and declared that the state is the religion. This led to the first merger of state and religion in Shia history, starting with the Iranian government and followed, now, by the Iraqi government. This Shia “newness” in the political sphere is a source of criticism by mainstream Sunnis, who say that “Shia don’t have experience in leading a country,” implying that only Sunnis have the right to lead governments. Which triggers another wave of resentment by Shia.

. This contrasting approach to political engagement has led to discord between Sunni and Shia in terms of their relationship with God. Shia believe that the religion should be interpreted in ways that reflect contemporary life and needs. Sunni argue that the religion should hew to the Quran and faithfully imitate the practices and behavior of the Prophet during his life. Sunnis believe that the individual has a direct relationship with God while Shia believe that the Imam is the mediator between the individual and God.

Such differences may be historical and are indeed playing a major role in today’s politics, but they are by no means predestined or pre-ordained. There were points in history when tensions were heightened and points in history when the tension was muted or dissolved. What drove these variations was leadership: the times when Muslim leaders encouraged the division versus the times when they suppressed it.

Today, as Sunni extremists call for Shia death, and as the Sunni religious leadership fails to condemn such extremist calls and counter them with words of peace and reconciliation, the political situation is exacerbated. The Shia leadership of Iraq, for example, should encourage a spirit of national unity in the country’s armed forces rather than a sectarian one, as it is the case today. Even with a just cause like fighting against ISIS, Shia leaders should be aware that when army members start chanting Shia slogans, Sunnis are alienated and the sectarianism within the country deepens.

We always create the very demon we are fighting against when we operate out of hatred and fear. When Shia hear calls for them to be killed, it leads even the most moderate among them (and there are plenty of moderate Shia, just as there are plenty of moderate Sunnis) to react by arming their militias and supporting any attempts to “defend” them from attacks. All of these actions fuel Iran in its support for Shia populations in various Muslim countries.

Now is the moment for Sunni and Shia leaders to call for unity and inclusion within each Muslim country. After all, Islam is one religion, with one Prophet and one God for all. Until such calls for unity are heard loud and clear, tension in the Middle East, especially between Sunni and Shia, will continue to tear the region apart. Indeed, even as I write this piece from inside Iraq, I am seeing this very scenario unfold. Source.


Our mission is to promote chardi kala around the world.
Our scope of service includes promoting diversity and cultural
as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, thereby bringing to
the fore issues of gender inequality for the purpose of uplifting women

who have a history of being marginalized, using social media and other
means as platforms to inform various communities of the life experiences
and concerns of marginalized people with regard to the necessity for social
change, dialogue, inclusion, compassion, tolerance, and cultural literacy,
and growth in our human relations going forward in order to better facilitate
the current worldwide shift in global consciousness from tribalism, instability,
and extremism, to harmony, cooperation and enduring peace. And furthermore,
we welcome and support other organizations that promote the transformation of
as taught by Guru Nanak Dev Ji throughout his life and travels.

Our ultimate vision is to afford every woman in the community
the opportunities to explore the sensitivities of the human spirit to
wit each person is inspired to (a) teach and interact with people while
maintaining a keen appreciation for their longing for inclusion, the innate longing
to belong within our human nature; (b) respond with compassionate consideration
and sensitivity to those racial, cultural, religious, ethnic, economic, political, social,
ethical, psychological, and philosophical differences that exist within every community


Pages And Points To Ponder

See Turban Is Bana. See DualityOptics.com. See The Essence of Kaur. See The Turban Is A Bigot Detector. See BroadPoints.com. See But Where Are The Women? See The Role And Status of Sikh Women. See U.S. Sikhs Want Women To Sing At Golden Temple. See Bibi Kiranjot Kaur On Women's Rights. See A Muslim Woman Teaches Kirtan. See Women Are Not Allowed To Play Kirtan. See Sikhism And Homosexuality. See Why Do You Not See Any Sikh Women? See Sikh Identity Is For Men Only. See When Will Sikh Men Stand Up. See Sikh Women's Issues. See Women And The Sikh Religion. See My Response To The Sikh Minister Survey. See How To Make Yoga Classes LGBT Friendly. See Punjabi Sikh Optics Do Matter. See What's With Sikhs And Gender Equality? See Circumstance. See The Woman Pope. See Women Are Much More Than This. See The Question of Authority Within Sikhism. See Should Mixed Faith Marriage In Sikh Temples Be Banned? See Balvinder Kaur Saund. See Maharani Jind Kaur: Saint Soldier. See Sudha Kaur Chopra On Gurdwara Security. See Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? See Life According To Hari Nam Kaur. See I Fight Like A Girl. See Dastaar For Sikh Women. See The Turban Is A Crown. See The Essence of Kaur. See Life According To Joan Baez. See Menstruation From A Woman's Perspective. See Granny Stops Burglar. See Life According To Andrea Mitchell. See 'Sikh' And Ye Shall Find. See The Story Behind My Turban. See We Are We, We Are One. See Women Wimps Or Warriors.


Prevent UTI's

Woman's Yoga


Amazon Women

The Woman Pope

I Am A Vegetarian

Women And Water

A 'Touching' Touche

A Healing Meditation

Meditation For Women

What About Aspartame

Safety Tips For Women

A Pistol Packin' Granny

Broad Points To Ponder

And Here's Andrea Mitchell

The Greatest Story Never Told

Now You Know: Shift Happens

Breasts: Letting It All Hang Out

Why Women Failed As Astronauts

Women Are Much More Than This

What Happens When You Meditate

Jimmy Carter And Women's Rights

Jamie Lee Curtis: Right Back Atcha

How Golf Became A Four-Letter Word

Women Against The Menstruation Taboo

Corporations Are Putting Consumers At Risk

More Web sites by

SAAAP.org Dieterata.com
AllIsOne.guru HariSingh.com
TheISites.com SikhTribes.com
SopaSeca.com SikhSongs.com
UbuntuAge.com WaheGuru.guru
UntoInfinity.com NarayanOil.com
LeftOfMaya.com SikhsShine.com
EyesOnPies.com Turbanators.com
SikhAnthem.com IsolatedSeer.com
BroadPoints.com 13EkOngKar.com
Obama43To1.com SoothingSpa.com
HariKaurBird.com ChardeeKala.com
OpticalViews.com 2020ForEyes.com
KhalsaVision.com SPIRITofGRD.com
GuruRamDas.com LakeKillarney.com
DualityOptics.com HariSinghBird.com
Interior-Guard.com SatKartarSingh.com
OpticalCourse.com DrRamonIbarra.com
MiriPiriWarrior.com FitItAndForgetIt.com
1IsTheAnswer.com OpticianryToday.com
SatNamMeans.com WordPhysiology.com
KaliYugaSigns.com JustAddedWater.com
SiriSinghSahib.com EyewearMoodys.com
1And1Equals11.com PreetKaurKhalsa.com
CloseOrderDrill.com WhiteTantraYoga.com
RamDhanSingh.com 3HOLegacyLinks.com
2020ForWomen.com TheMahanTantric.com
HangupsByHari.com SiriMantraForLife.com
ACTForDiversity.com OpticianryReview.com
AdiShaktiMantra.com 2020ForOpticians.com
ScienceOfMudra.com OpticalGuidelines.com
OneIsTheAnswer.com GuruGobindSingh.com
ScienceOfMantra.com OpticalWorkshops.com
GuruGaitriMantra.com KirpalSinghKhalsa.com
OohRahMemorial.com SimranKaurKhalsa.com
AkalCommittee13.com SadhanaGuidelines.com
GurdwaraSecurity.com YouAreTheEssence.com
AmarSinghKhalsa.com KundaliniYogapedia.com
DiversityDialogues.org StFrancisOfficePark.com
SensitivitySummit.com ToTheSweetestMom.com
AwtarSinghKhalsa.com YogiBhajansTeacher.com
SurvivalCampUSA.com OpticalShiftHappens.com
KhalsaWebMasters.com AllForOneWonForAll.com
MasculineMoments.com DrinkingDrivingDead.com
AhaMomentOfTruth.com MyInterviewWithGod.com
HairInLaysTheTruth.com SaTaNaMaMeditation.com
PartnersNotParents.com FaceBlindnessIsReal.com
ToTheSweetestWife.com ToServeIsToSucceed.com
EachMomentIsAGift.com ServingVersusSelling.com
SikhAndYeShallFind.com SukhmaniKaurKhalsa.com
OpticiansForChange.com LakesideManorOnline.com
HappinessIsTheRule.com EyeWearProfessionals.com
AtTheFeetOfTheYogi.com SecurityAdvisoryTeam.com
SiriGuruGranthSahib.guru ReligionDemographics.com
RaMaDaSaMeditation.com TimeForCraftsmanship.com
UniversityOfDiversity.com FirstSikhOfSikhDharma.com
DispensingGuidelines.com HealthEqualsHappiness.com
CourageousDialogues.com GoodGuysWearTurbans.com
SatKriyaByYogiBhajan.com AquarianAgeBeganHere.com
IfYouKnowWhoYouAre.com ButterflyEffectExplained.com
EyeExaminationOnline.com FirstTeachersAreWomen.com
GlassesOnlineWarning.com SugarIsAFourLetterWord.com
IDoNotEatDeadAnimals.com SikhWomenWearTurbans.com
MoreThanYouCanKnow.com WomenWimpsOrWarriors.com
OpticiansForThePeople.com CosmicCyclesAndCircles.com
OnsiteFamilyHealthcare.com TheAfterDeathExperience.com
SantSipahiAdvisoryTeam.com IAmABornAgainAmerican.com
KirtanKriyaByYogiBhajan.com TestYourKnowledgeOnline.com
SatHanumanSinghKhalsa.com LifeAccordingToYogiBhajan.com
TextingAndDrivingIsCrazy.com NowYouKnowThatYouKnow.com
ItsAllAboutMeNotAboutYou.com KundaliniYogaByYogiBhajan.com
CrucifixionByAnEyewitness.com EndOfPrideAndPrejudiceIsNigh.com
GodAndMeMeAndGodAreOne.com EkOngKarSatNamSiriWaheGuru.com
ReachOutAndTouchSomebody.com TheTechnologyOfConsciousness.com
ConsciousCommunicationGuidelines.com OneIsTheAnswerWhatIsTheQuestion.com


© All rights reserved.