Nun, Nuun (Arabic letter)

Untitled-3The fourteenth letter of the Arabic alphabet, nun (nuun) equivalent to the Hebrew  or Phoenician nun. The letter in all three alphabets is derived from a pictogram of a fish or serpent.

Of some significance of late because of its use by the militant Jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)  in Iraq.  The nun stands in for “Nasara,” or Nazarene, and is at the time of this writing being used to mark the homes of Christians in Mosul.  In a mimicry of  the relatively tolerant practices* of the Ottoman Caliphate, Christians whose homes have been marked have been given an ultimatum to convert, pay a steep ‘tax,’ or flee.

The symbol has been taken up by Western Christians in solidarity with their Iraqi coreligionists.

*While certainly tolerant by 16th century standards, these strictures are clearly in violation of human rights in modern times.


Related symbols:



Dana August 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

There is a symbol that has been associated with my family for more than 100 years. We are from Norwegian ancestry and this symbol was carved into the cornerstones of the family farm buildings. There are still a couple standing today with this. I was told that it was a symbol showing ownership. I have been told the cross was added when Christianity came to the family and that the star on the right is a protection sign, an eye of protection. No one has any information on the “K” type symbol in the middle. I have seen the K symbol with more of an arch to the lines.

I have checked the rune alphabet and do not see anything like that symbol. Do you have any information on what this symbol might mean?
Thank you,

Jennifer August 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Hi Dana, do you by any chance have a picture?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: