How Iran Is Building Its Censorship-Friendly Domestic Internet

from BackChannel In the early spring of 2011, Iranian authorities made a series of bombastic public statements about government plans to strengthen their control over information. What emerged is the enduring specter of a “halal Internet”?—?a network cleansed of immorality and disconnected from the global Internet. Over the next several months, the political and religious establishment began to aggressively challenge the morality and security of the Internet, calling instead for a network that promoted the strict religious values promoted by the Islamic Republic. The then-Deputy Vice President for Economic Affairs described the vision for a national Internet as “a genuinely halal network, aimed at Muslims […]

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How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ?

from NYTs Saudi Arabia’s execution of the Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr could escalate tensions in the Muslim world even further. In the Shiite theocracy Iran, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by a Sunni monarchy, would face “divine vengeance” for the killing of the outspoken cleric, which was part of a mass execution of 47 men. Sheikh Nimr had advocated for greater political rights for Shiites in Saudi Arabia and surrounding countries. Saudi Arabia had accused him of inciting violence against the state. Here is a primer on the basic differences between Sunni and Shia Islam. More here.

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