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May 18, 2006

Ahmadinejad And The Hidden Imam

Topics: Iran

Yesterday, Charles at LGF pointed to a Robert Ferrigno post at Robert's Blog entitled Ahmadinejad and the Hidden Imam, in which Ferrigno says that he considers Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the most intelligent and dangerous foe the US faces. Ferrigno is author of Prayers of the Assassin a fast-paced thriller that Charles has previously described as having "believable, fully drawn characters, in a future America where most of the country has become an Islamic republic after a nuclear sneak attack blamed on Israel".

Ferrigno knows his subject, and I think LGF readers (and others) will be especially impressed by the level of detail about Islam (radical and otherwise) on display. It takes a bit of a leap of faith to accept the premise, but you'll end up convinced (and maybe more than a little disconcerted) by the vision of an America where San Francisco has become a center of strict shari'a law.
While Prayers of the Assassin is a story, Ahmadinejad and the Hidden Imam is an assessment of Ahmadinejad and the danger he represents to the West. It should be looked upon as an informative piece that needs to be consumed by everyone in the West - especially our leaders:

Yesterday, a collection of European nations offered to give Iran a light-water nuclear reactor in an attempt to persuade Tehran to permanently give up uranium enrichment - or face the threat of U.N. Security Council sanctions. Ooooooooh, scarey. The U.N., oh please, not that!

Shortly after the European proposal, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded with a nationally televised speech. "Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"

Members of the crowd shouted back: "We love you, Ahmadinejad!"

No doubt. President Bush makes mushy promises about border security then quickly calls fellow rancher, Mexican Presidente Vincente Fox to tell him that posting the national guard was only temporary and besides, it was just to appease the nativist mouth breathers who think a thousand miles of open border might be a security threat. We've got George Bush covering our back, the Iranians have Ahmadinejad telling the rest of the world to shove it, he's doing what's in the best interests of his country. Who do you think has a higher national approval rating?

I had never heard of Ahmadinejad until he was elected president of Iran in late 2005. Then his speeches started getting international coverage, and it seemed like what he was saying came straight out of the pages of Prayers for the Assassin. He blamed the Jews for everything, threatened to eradicate Israel, and, most interesting to me, he spoke of the imminent return of the Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam and the creation of a Caliphate (a major theme of Prayers) which would dominate the world. Ahmadinejad made it clear that he was willing to use nuclear weapons to achieve his spiritual and political goals. Most of the American press quickly pronounced Ahmadinejad a fool, a nut, a puppet of the Mullahs designed to frighten the gullible. I thought the press and the politicians were wrong then, and I think they're even more wrong following the release of the 18-page letter Ahmadinejad wrote to president Bush a few weeks ago. Commentators on the left, right and every spot in between have found the letter risible, with Jon Stewart having perhaps the most fun with the flowery language used by Ahmadinejad to address Bush -- "As your Excellency is aware..." Funny stuff, to be sure, particularly if you overlook the fact that Persian is a 2,000 year old language with a tradition of poetic imagery. Not to be a buzz-kill, or anything.

Rather than a source of entertainment, I consider Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the most intelligent and dangerous foe the US faces. Not the Mullahs who currently hold power in Iran, and whose machinations put him in office. My reasons for concern about Ahmadinejad are based on the character and deportment of the man himself, his religious beliefs, and the "true" recipient of the letter ostensibly written to Bush. The common US media portrayal of Ahmadinejad as a grandiose bumpkin and the letter as mere rambling is a dangerous mistake. I would remind those making such assessments that Hitler appeared ridiculous for a long time, a skinny little man with a toothbrush moustache and a look of perpetual constipation. Idi Amin was also considered a buffoon, a late night comic's easy joke. Ask the dead how funny these men are.

Let's take a little historical jog here, and, since I believe humility is my greatest ally, let me state that I AM NO EXPERT, but I have read widely the work of others much more learned. My own gifts involve synthesizing data, the basis for any success I have in writing fiction. I'm providing links which you can use for your own edification.

Our present predicament with Iran revolves around the Twelfth Imam, or Hidden Imam, believed by Shiite Muslims to be the last in the line of spiritual/political rulers. The Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, ascended to his position upon the death of his father, the Eleventh Imam, in 874 AD. Al-Madha at that time was five years old. Shortly after the funeral of his father, al-Mahdi disappeared, believed by Shiites to have been hidden by Allah until his return at some future point. The easiest way for westerners to think of the Hidden Imam is as the Islamic Messiah, Except the Islamic Messiah is to come at the hour of greatest peril for Muslims, come to battle the forces of evil and unite the entire world in an Islamic Caliphate.

Okay, let's call it a difference of opinion. Armageddon under any other name... However, Ahmadinejad belongs to a small sect of Shiites, called Hojjatieh, who believe that they can hasten the arrival of the Hidden Imam.. Even more threatening for the west, the Hojjatieh believe that it is chaos that will induce the Hidden Imam to reveal himself. They have a spiritual investment in destruction. The worse things get -- the worse believers can make things get -- the more likely it is for the Hidden Imam to return. None of which would matter much except that Ahmadinejad is adamant about the right of Iran to develop its own nuclear program.

Read it all.

Sooner or later those of us that live on the reality side of the living and thinking experience need to understand that our collective ability to convince our politicians and others of the terrible danger Ahmadinijad poses to the West may determine our survival. Robert Ferrigno is not the only one sounding the alarm.

Take for example:

(Telegraph.UK) - listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad - recently described by President George W Bush as an "odd man" - and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission.

(Threats Watch) - Considering his aggressive radicalism in context with the potential convergence of nuclear opportunity, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could be the most dangerous foreign leader we have faced. He must be seen and analyzed as more than just 'potentially' irrational, as his religious beliefs must be clearly and thoroughly understood. His openly stated desires to "wipe Israel off the map" and "pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam" open the possibility that, with the power of nuclear weaponry at hand, he could unthinkably forsake the well-being of his own nation. In order to serve a 'greater purpose', he may be capable of creating a situation so cataclysmic that it would usher in the 12th Imam, thereby, potentially in his mind, saving the world and restoring Islam.

(Radio Free Europe) - Ahmadinejad said that someone present at the UN told him that a light surrounded him while he was delivering his speech to the General Assembly. The Iranian president added that he also sensed it. ... "He said when you began with the words 'in the name of God,' I saw that you became surrounded by a light until the end [of the speech]," Ahmadinejad appears to say in the video. ... "I felt it myself, too. I felt that all of a sudden the atmosphere changed there, and for 27-28 minutes all the leaders did not blink." ... Ahmadinejad adds that he is not exaggerating.

(Washington Times) - The man in charge of hoodwinking the Western powers about Iran's now 18-year-old secret nuclear program believes the apocalypse will happen in his own lifetime. He'll be 50 in October. ... President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Shi'ite creed has convinced him lesser mortals can not only influence but hasten the awaited return of the 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi. Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect holds this will be Muhammad ibn Hasan, the righteous descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the 9th century, at age 5. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war, bloodshed and pestilence. After this cataclysmic confrontation between the forces of good and evil, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.

(US News & World Report) - At the bottom of a well in Jamkaran, Iran, lie tens of thousands of petitions addressed to a much-venerated figure in Shiite Islam called the 12th Imam. One recent addition to that pile would be of interest to the wider world. Written by the current president of Iran and signed by his entire cabinet, it might shed light on the mystical tendencies of a leader who has already succeeded in making an unstable region even more volatile, a man whom some are comparing to Hitler in his unbridled fanaticism. ... Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the 49-year-old former mayor of Tehran who last summer defeated the moderate reformist cleric Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is now widely known as a defiant booster of his nation's nuclear enrichment program. Thought to harbor dreams of an Iranian bomb, he thumbs his nose at the United States and the United Nations, denies the Holocaust, and announces that Israel will one day be "wiped from the map."

As one can easily see, Robert Ferrigno has plenty of company in thinking that in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the world is seeing a new and far more dangerous Hitler - one with apocalyptic dreams who with nuclear weapons would indeed be determined to take the world to the Armageddon.

Posted by Richard at May 18, 2006 6:30 AM

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