On Contemporary Extremism and Cultural Oppression

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In Medieval times, discrete attempts to diverge from authoritative ideology were tolerated by the Islamic ruling class for art’s sake, fostering a more liberal and independent society of artists. With the emergence of ISIS, we witness the complete suppression of critical thought and freedom of thinking

by Arielle Blattner
Graphic designer and MA Student of Islamic Art

As long as there have been religions, there have been sects. As long as there have been religions and sects, there have been vicious wars between sects. No matter which division, the proclamation of faith written on the flag of ISIS lā ilāha illā allāh (“There is no god but Allah”) is the same phrase written on Islamist medieval coins since the 8th century, and continues to be seen on the flag of ISIS. In addition to spreading Islam being the main goal of these regimes, the suppression of free thought (whether non-muslim…

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The story of Timur and the ant

This blog post has not much to do with art, design and architecture but it has a beautiful moral to the story of a great warrior, leader and an outstanding patron of art, architecture and cultural heritage.

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Part of the reason I have a soft spot for Timur, the late-14th century Mongolian/Turkic warlord who tried to rebuild the Mongolian Empire and didn’t care how many people he had to slaughter t…

Source: The story of Timur and the ant

Illustration/painting by Zahra. Recreation of a 16th c. Mughal/Persian miniature painting.