Good Islam=Clergy, Bad Islam=Crystals

Amy Levin: A controversial religious tradition in Iran you wouldn’t expect to hear about is brewing in the news: occultism–or at least some relative version of it. The narrative arguably begins in medias res, when one of Ayatollah Ali Khameni’s aides accused allies of president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of engaging in “occult practices.” The aide specifically targeted Ahmedinajad’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who was blamed for “‘bewitching’ the president with magic spells, of having too much influence over him and of leading a “current of deviation” aimed at destroying the Islamic regime.”

As an effort to divert attention away from the accusations, the president launched an attack on occult practices and “nonconformist ideologies.” Continue Reading →