Posted tagged ‘Apocalypticism’

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse

September 9, 2017

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse, Al Arabiya, Tony Duheaume, September 8, 2017

In this Dec. 10, 1978 file picture, demonstrators hold up a poster of Ayatollah Khomeini. (AP)

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.


Before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in Iran through a violent revolution in 1979, his plan was in place for his own form of Shiite utopia, which would be led by clerics that adhered to the Twelver Shiite Muslim tradition of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

Traditionally known as the Hidden Imam, Muhammed al-Mahdi is believed by Twelver Shiites to be their messiah, and is said by his followers to be awaiting his return to earth, at a time when they will be suffering great tribulation. Responding to this, through a rigid form of theocratic political rule, Khomeini was determined to put in place a clerical government that would prepare for the Mahdi’s reappearance.

Having studied for years in exile, Khomeini became heavily influenced by various Sufi mystics, and had also studied the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. As is evident from his own poetry, he openly criticized spirituality and religion.

Adding his accumulated knowledge to that of past Persian dynasties, Khomeini knew exactly how to manipulate the Iranian masses, and exploiting their jealously guarded perception of their Persian identity, and that of the misrule of Mohammed Reza Shah, he propelled himself to power.

Once in power, Khomeini brought a Communist-style discipline into being, and moving away from the commonly held concept of religion of simply being the belief of the state and an ethical guide for the people, he introduced the notion of political control into Shiism, using a fanatically charged security system to dominate all aspects of everyday life.

Such was the rigidity of the political force put in place by Khomeini that his carefully crafted ideology took away a citizen’s individual identity, and through mass indoctrination replaced it with a collectivist society, where the state dominated all, and the people were fully subdued.

Iranian soldiers attend the swearing-in ceremony for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

Theocratic mind control

Khomeini was a clever operator and knew exactly how to enslave the population. He would at first free the people from the control of his arch enemy Mohammed Reza Shah, who had thrown Khomeini into exile. But from his position of refuge in Paris, Khomeini urged the masses to stand up for their rights, stoking up the anger of the millions that eventually took to the streets of Iran, calling for them to continue their protests, denouncing the Shah’s claims to a religious dynasty, and calling for true Shiite Islam to return to the public domain.

Once Khomeini had overthrown the Shah to gain a firm hold on law and order, the masses had to be programmed to adhere fully to his ideology, and he did this by creating a personality cult for himself, which would set him up to be revered as God’s representative on earth until the appearance of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

To the faithful, Khomeini was perceived as a messianic-type being, whose teachings would provide the right course Shiite Islam needed to adhere to, leading up to the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, a philosophy which would continue through to Ali Khamenei, who succeeded him to become today’s Supreme Leader.

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

During his term as Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had confided to friends, how an apparition of the Mahdi had appeared to him, sending him on a divine mission to bring about a cataclysmic confrontation with the West, which he was convinced would hasten the Hidden Imam’s second coming.

Although during some of his most fervent outbursts, Ahmadinejad might have come across to the rest of the world as having been close to insane, he was in fact adhering to a radical form of religious thought, which was shared not only by many of the regime’s more fanatical hard-line hierarchy, but also by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a large number of commanders in the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the entire force of Basij and that of Iran’s proxy terror organisation Hezbollah.

Iranian army troops march during a parade just outside Tehran, Iran, on April 18, 2017. (AP)

The brew of prophecy in politics

Where the IRGC is concerned, they see themselves as the “Guardians of the Revolution”, an honour bestowed on them by Khomeini himself. So, due to the protective position bestowed upon them to defend Shiism and the ideology of the Revolution at all costs, they are the most radicalized followers.

But the chilling part of this whole saga is that these zealous Iranians have enough military hardware behind them to start World War III, and their military arsenal will soon include a nuclear weapon, which they could use in their minds to precipitate the return of their Hidden Imam.

While in office as Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was so deeply immersed in Shiite apocalyptic theory, it virtually ruled all his political thinking, and such was his fanaticism toward the Mahdi’s arrival, he even called upon Allah to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam during his September 2005 speech at the United Nations; a speech which baffled many members of the UN who were listening to him.

As far as the Shiite faith is concerned for Iran’s clerical leadership to keep the masses conforming completely to the ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Twelver vision of utopia, they realise they need to control minds, which in the end keeps the cap on law and order, which in turn holds the state together, and most important of all, keeps them in power. But to aid them in this task, they saw to it that the whole of Iran’s school system teaches only Shiite ideals.

Persian Farsi is the only language taught to pupils, all forms of media are controlled by the state, and all other cultures except Persian have been almost entirely eradicated in the leadership’s bid to create a mind-controlled society.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.

Why Iran Might WANT To Get Nuked After Nuking Israel

July 12, 2016

Why Iran Might WANT To Get Nuked After Nuking Israel, PJ MediaROBERT SPENCER, July 12, 2016

Nukes away

In all the controversy about the Iranian nuclear deal and Iran’s nuclear aspirations, it has been little noted that the leaders of the Islamic Republic may have reasons of their own actually to want to nuke Israel.

And their motivation is not in spite of the fact that Iran would almost certainly be nuked in retaliation … but because of it.

Sounds crazy? Of course. But once you enter into the wild and weird world of Shi’ite Muslim eschatology, it all begins to make sense. As I show in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran, there are specific conditions in Shi’ite tradition for the return to earth of their messiah-like figure — the Twelfth Imam.

Jafar al-Sadiq, the sixth Imam and central figure of Shia jurisprudence, prophesied that the Twelfth Imam would not return “till you are severely tested.” Jafar added:

At that time you shall be severely examined and you shall be differentiated and sieved. There will be famines. A person will become a ruler in the morning and put to death in the evening.

The return of the Twelfth Imam, Jafar went on, would come at a time when the Shi’ites were experiencing persecution to a terrible, unprecedented degree:

That which you look forward to will not be until you are tested … That which you look forward to will not be until you are sieved … That, which you look forward to, will not be until you are sifted. That which you look forward to will not be except after despair.

How severe would this test be? Jafar said that the Twelfth Imam’s return “will not occur till two-third population of the world is not destroyed.

Presumably, then the Twelfth Imam will return when one-third of the world’s population has been destroyed.

This time of massive death and destruction, however, will herald the consummation of all things. A prophecy attributed to no less an authority for Shi’ites than Ali ibn Abi Talib, the foundational figure of Shi’ite Islam, says:

In the last period of time, the Almighty Allah will raise a man among the illiterate masses whom he will support by his angels and protect his helpers, help him through his signs and he will conquer the whole world. All would enter the fold of religion willingly or unwillingly. He would fill the earth with justice, equity and proof. No disbeliever will remain without accepting faith.

The emphasis on the Twelfth Imam only returning at a time of immense persecution of the Shi’ites has given rise to speculation that the leaders of the Islamic Republic might try to hasten his return by provoking that persecution.

The Iranian leader Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was President of Iran from 1989 to 1997 and remains influential in the Iranian government, said in December 2001:

“If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing [sic] in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.”

It could also, with millions of Muslim dead, bring back the Twelfth Imam.

The Cold War deterrence strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction has no teeth in a situation in which one side welcomes death. One side is sure not only that Allah will reward martyrdom, but that such large-scale carnage will hasten the final victory of their party over not just one, but all of its enemies.

The Iranian leadership clearly takes the prophecies regarding the Twelfth Imam very seriously.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran from 2005 to 2013, had a highway built between Tehran and the Shi’ite holy city of Qom, approaching the Iraqi city of Samarra — the city in which the Twelfth Imam disappeared and from which he will return.

The highway is apparently intended for the Twelfth Imam himself, so that immediately after he does return, he can make his way to Tehran quickly to begin waging global war against the enemies of the Shi’ites.

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in June 2014: “The coming of Imam Zaman is the definite promise by Allah.” Imam Zaman is Imam of the Time, a title of the Twelfth Imam. But, Khamenei said, for the Twelfth Imam actually to return would require some changes, including “regional preparedness.” The Islamic Republic, in any case, “without a doubt will be connected to the worldwide revolution of Imam Mahdi.”

In light of former president Rafsanjani’s words about nuclear war and the prophecies about the persecution that would trigger the Twelfth Imam’s return, Khamenei’s term “regional preparedness” takes on a decidedly ominous cast.

Might the mullahs actually be willing to nuke Tel Aviv and take a retaliatory nuclear strike that could kill tens of millions of Iranians?

If it would hasten the Mahdi’s coming, why wouldn’t they?

Western leaders ignore ‘apocalyptic Islam’ at their peril

November 15, 2015

Western leaders ignore ‘apocalyptic Islam’ at their peril, Israel National News, Ari Soffer, November 15, 2015

img634813Bataclan concert hall following terror attackReuters

[G]laringly absent from the discussions [of the Paris attack] are any serious attempts to understand the ideological motivations of the Muslim extremists, several of them French citizens, who carried out the worse terror attacks in France in a generation – including the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil.


Despite years of warnings by intelligence agencies that radicalized Muslims would eventually emerge from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq to launch bloody attacks in the West, Europe has been blindsided by one of the most brutal terrorist atrocities in recent memory.

The coordinated attacks by three teams of ISIS terrorists in Paris on Friday sent shockwaves far beyond France, with the massacre of at least 129 people reigniting the debate around immigration after it was revealed that at least two of the attackers entered Europe posing as “refugees.”

The attacks also fueled debate over how to end the Syrian civil war, as well as over ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, the latter of which has seen several successes over the past few weeks.

But glaringly absent from the discussions are any serious attempts to understand the ideological motivations of the Muslim extremists, several of them French citizens, who carried out the worse terror attacks in France in a generation – including the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil.

That, says best-selling author Joel Rosenberg, is the reason such acts of terror are bound to repeat themselves.

Joel spoke to me prior to the attacks at the recent Jerusalem Leaders Policy Summit, and voiced concern that by failing to grapple with the apocalyptic ideology behind actors such as ISIS, Western states would never be able to decisively defeat them.

Watch: Author Joel Rosenberg speaks in Jerusalem:

A jovial, somewhat self-deprecating character, Rosenberg – who worked for Binyamin Netanyahu during his failed prime ministerial bid in 1999, as well as Natan Sharansky – describes himself as “a failed political consultant,” but boasts a rather more successful career as writer, selling millions of novels highlighting the threat of radical Islam.

Today he lives in Netanya in northern Israel with his family, having made aliyah from the US last August at the height of Operation Protective Edge (though a practicing Christian his father was Jewish, making him eligible for aliyah under the Right of Return). From there, he has continued his efforts to explain “the threats we mutually face as Israelis and Americans from radical Islam” – a threat he says he only fully appreciated after working with Netanyahu.

“Misunderstanding the nature of the threat… of evil, is to risk being blindsided by it,” he said, citing Peal Harbor and 9/11 as examples. “And we’re going to be blindsided by a nuclear Iran, just like we’re being blindsided by ISIS.”

“At the core of it, American leaders are refusing to deal with the theology and eschatology of our enemy,” he said. “Not every Muslim is a terrorist, not every Muslim is a threat, not every Muslim is a problem – in fact the vast majority are not.

“The question is, the ones who are – what do they want? What do they say they want? What motivates them?”

The current US administration is particularly hesitant to label the threat as it is.

“Obama refuses to even acknowledge radical Islam. Come on – really? At this stage in the 21st century you’re not even ready to acknowledge the ideology that is motivating these folks? That’s a problem.”

Days later, as the attacks in Paris unfolded, some criticized the US president for once again failing to mention radical Islam at all in his speech reacting to the massacre.

Watch: Obama delivers response to Paris attacks:

But beyond the relatively wide umbrella of “radical Islam” Rosenberg warns of a far deadlier threat.

“Radical Islam encompasses a wide range of groups… Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Al Qaeda – all of these are serious threats,” he noted. “But apocalyptic Islam is now the biggest threat. this is the Iranian leadership, this is ISIS.”

He argues that the hyper-messianic ideologies shared by both sides of the Shia-Sunni jihadist coin are unprecedented in the history of modern western civilization.

“Apocalyptic Islam is motivated by the idea that the end of days has come, that the Mahdi [Muslim messiah – ed.] is coming at any moment to establish a global Islamic kingdom or Caliphate, and that the way to hasten his coming is to annihilate two countries: Israel the ‘Little Satan,’ and America the ‘Big Satan,'” he explained, describing the messianic beliefs shared by both ISIS and the “Twelver Shia” sect which figures prominently among Iran’s leadership.

“But the western political class doesn’t want to even deal with the theological ideas that are driving the radical Islamists – let alone to explain the end of times theologies of two ‘nation states’,” he continued, referring to Iran and ISIS’s self-declared “Islamic State,” which encompasses huge swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

“Never in history have we had one, much less than two states, whose leaders are trying to force the end of the world,” Rosenberg noted.

While Jews and Christians also have their own beliefs in the “end of times” or the messianic age, the difference is that “we don’t believe we have to commit a genocide to bring about the end of times.”

While some strategic and doctrinal differences do clearly exist between Iran and ISIS – who are themselves mortal enemies – Rosenberg emphasized that the fundamental threat was essentially the same.

“Shia apocalypticism and Sunni apocalypticism are similar. Both believe the messiah is coming soon, that his kingdom is coming, they need to change their behavior to accelerate his coming… but the eschatology and strategies are different.

“ISIS’s strategy is to commit genocide today, because the goal is to build the caliphate, to force the hand of the messiah to come.

“Iran is not trying to build a caliphate today. They’re building the infrastructure to build nuclear weapons. Why? Because while ISIS wants to commit genocide today Iran wants to commit genocide tomorrow. The point is: don’t launch until you’re ready. Rather than kill thousands in one day, Iran wants to eventually kill millions.”

He disagreed with assessments shared by some experts that the Iranian regime, while extreme, ultimately functions as a rational actor, insisting their words, beliefs and actions only led to one conclusion.

“When you look a the messages of annihilation they are saying… when you look at the infrastructure they’re building and when you look at the eschatology, these roads converge.

“They’re not interested in negotiating something together with us – they’re taking a gift,” he said of the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers. “You’re giving us two paths to a nuclear bomb: if we cheat, or if we don’t cheat? OK we’ll take it!”

In the shorter term Iran might they use its nuclear capabilities for more limited political goals such as “blackmail or to give a cover for terror,” he said.

But in the long term its goals were just as bloodthirsty as ISIS. In facing down both threats, the West must recognize it is facing a zero-sum game.

“For these guys killing is at the center of what they’re doing. When you bear that in mind making concessions isn’t just a mistake or misguided – it’s insane.”