The Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences (CRCIS), based in Qom, Iran, was created by and operates under the direction of Supreme Ayatollah of the Iranian Islamic Republic, His Highness Ayatollah Khamenei, successor to the Ayatollah Khomenei.
The CRCIS does business as 'noorsoft' and has as its stated mission:
Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences (CRCIS), established in 1988. This center undertakes the grave task of computerizing Islamic texts and sources.
The main activities of the Center are as follows
1. Study and implementation of the best methods of using advanced computer technology in producing word indexes, subject indexes, "rijal" indexes, and other required indexes in the Islamic fields;
2. Performing scientific researches using the produced indexes, and publishing them in order to provide suitable patterns in the field of Islamic sciences research,
3. Publishing books, magazines, pamphlets, and other Islamic sources by using computer and communication facilities,
4. Computer training for the researchers of Islamic sciences,
5. Presenting hardware and software services for the researchers of Islamic sciences,
6. Promoting and developing the proper culture of computer usage and exchanging information in the Islamic seminaries, as well as recognizing and reinforcing the influencing elements in this respect,
7. Cooperation with the computer institutions to enrich the current activities in the Islamic field as well as taking advantage of the consequent experiences to attain the goals of the Center as soon as possible,
8. Using the worldwide nets to send and receive the required information.
A July 1999 story in National Geographic provides a glimpse inside the Iranian end of the CRCIS operation:
The invocation of an ancient Islamic figure to further the modern goal of population control is but one example of how the current regime is attempting to reconcile the old and the new, the religious and the secular.
Further evidence of this can be seen at Qom, home of a renowned religious seminary where Ayatollah Khomeini and many of Iran’s religious leaders studied. There, amid the tranquil turquoise-and-green mosaic-tile seminary buildings and gold-domed mosques is an incongruous operation: the Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences.
“Islam encourages us to use technology and knowledge,” said Assadollah Moslemifar, the deputy director of the center. He accompanied me to a long basement room where turbaned scholars and students sat behind banks of computers, dissecting holy texts using Windows 95 or training to become software engineers. The center’s staff members, all mullahs, produce illustrated CD-ROMs of the Koran and other religious products, which are sold worldwide.
The CRCIS has registered many domain names and operates a broad range of websites for the leading Mullahs, seminaries, and other organizations of the religious hierarchy of the Islamic Republic. On one such site, insight-info.com, we find 'news and analysis' presented from the perspective of Iran's rulers, including an article titled "Touch the great shaytan and you can’t let go...".
The essay opens with...
Can the US be a friend of the Muslims? This is not a rhetorical question; Muslims must consider it seriously because it has enormous implications for their future. First, a clarification is in order: when one talks about “the US”, one does not mean the American people but the government, although it could be argued that the 51 percent of Americans who voted for George Bush should bear some responsibility for the crimes perpetrated in their name....and ends with...
The friendship of the US comes with a huge price-tag. Recipients of US largesse end up becoming weaker and more dependent, and lose what little freedom they have to determine their own policies and futures. Countries that choose not to become vassals of the US may suffer short-term hardships, but they gain in independence, self-reliance and self-confidence. While it is sensible to avoid antagonizing the US more than necessary, too close an association is more than just undesirable; it is a recipe for disaster.
insight-info.com, along with 47 other CRCIS domains, resides on a server in Bedford, Texas, USA.
* * * FOOTNOTES * * *
[1ii]"The C.R.C.I.S. was established to promote and facilitate research in Islamic Sciences by and under the supreme direction of His Highness Ayatollah Khameneyee (May God Bless Him), in 1988 (A.D.)."
 'About Us' page from noorsoft.org
 Iran - Testing the Waters of Reform
The IP address used by the CRCIS sites is 22.214.171.124. There are currently 47 CRCIS-registered domains on this IP address. The IP address was assigned to CRCIS by Bedford TX datacenter CIHOST as per this whois lookup on the IP:
C I Host CIHOST4 (NET-66-34-0-0-1)
126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52
CIHS PROPAGATION4 (NET-66-34-0-0-2)
184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
These are the 47 domains found on that IP as of this writing: