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al-Mahdi is "the rightly-guided one" who, according to Islamic Hadiths (traditions), will come before the end of time to make the entire world Muslim.  Over the last 1400 years numerous claimants to the mantle of the Mahdi have arisen in both Shi`i and Sunni circles.  Modern belief in the coming of the Mahdi has manifested most famously in the 1979 al-`Utaybi uprising of Sa`udi Arabia, and more recently in the ongoing Mahdist movements (some violent) in Iraq, as well as in the frequently-expressed public prayers of former Iranian President Ahmadinezhad bidding the Mahdi to return and, in the larger Sunni Islamic world, by claims that Usamah bin Ladin might be the (occulted) Mahdi.  Now in 2014 Mahdism is active in Syria, as the jihadist opposition group Jabhat al-Nusra claims to be fighting to prepare the way for his coming; and in the new "Islamic State/caliphate" spanning Syrian and Iraqi territory, as its leadership promotes the upcoming apocalyptic battle with the West at Dabiq, Syria.  This site will track such Mahdi-related movements, aspirations, propaganda and beliefs in both Sunni and Shi`i milieus, as well as other  Muslim eschatological yearnings.
For a primer on Mahdism, see my 2005 article, "What's Worse than Violent Jihadists?," at the History News Network:; for more in-depth info, see the links here to my other writings, including my book on Mahdism.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Escape from New York: Final Take on Ahmadi-nezhad's Trip
History News Network has posted my article analyzing Ahmadi-nezhad as the worm in the Big Apple last week:
Among other points, I deconstruct the oft-repeated canard that the A-man and the ayatollahs hope to "hot wire the apocalypse" in order to force the coming of the Mahdi.
9:16 pm edt          Comments

Run for the (Afghan) Border
While the Great Dajjal continues to let in legions of illegal immigrants, the (self-styled) Greater Mahdi(st State) of Iran is cracking down on a similar problem:

Illegal immigrants must leave Iran
IRI's Charge D'Affaires to Kabul Mohammad Reza Nafar held talks on Thursday with Afghan officials on drafting a plan for expulsion of illegal Afghan immigrants from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The plan is to go into effect from next week in various Iranian provinces.

There are some 2.5 million Afghan refugees residing in Iran.

He said the plan applies to all foreign nationals residing in Iran.
9:10 pm edt          Comments

Monday, September 24, 2007

Me and Mahmud Down by the Schoolyard

There's hope for the Beeb--the BBC--yet:  I was on the program "World Have Your Say" today, commenting on Ahmadinezhad's newest action flick, "Escape from New York."  Here's the link:
(Go to "Listen Again," then to "Monday," and forward it to about 19:41.)

8:55 pm edt          Comments

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Back in the Great Satan's Lair
Hidden Imam One has departed Iranian airspace en route to the Big Apple, where Iran's President Ahmadinezhad is scheduled to be awarded tenure, er, speak at Columbia University--and then make a side visit to the U.N.  Unlike many Americans, however, I fully support having the A-man over here to make his case that "the American people in the past years have been denied correct and clear information about global developments and are eager to hear different opinions" (  I fully support it on one condition, however: that we Great Satanists be allowed to send spokesmen and spokeswomen to Tehran to give Iranians our side of the story.  I'm not sure that President Bush would be the most logical choice to do this, for both security and rhetorical reasons.  But some other Western leaders would make sense: President Sakozy, for instance, or perhaps Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney (both of whom understand the Islamic threat).  For that matter, let's start insisting that the Islamic world start being even fractionally as open to our representatives and ideas as the West is to those of the Muslims'--most notably in the religious realm, since while Muslims are free to open mosques and proselytize all over Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia the practice of Christianity is circumscribed, if not outright banned, in many Islamic states. 
I wonder if anyone at the faculty club at Columbia, or during Ahmadinezhad's lecture, will ask him about that?
9:45 pm edt          Comments

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Everybody Was Having a Good Time, Except You--You Were Acting Like It's the End of the World
This just in from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) site:

West to receive response on Qods Day
Supporters of the Zionist regime will receive their response during the world Qods Day's rallies, Government Spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, said Wednesday.

The Spokesman made the remarks during his weekly press conference while commenting on the current visit to the occupied Palestine of the American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Qods Day is held each year on the last Friday of Muslims fasting month of Ramadhan after it was nominated by the late Founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, as a day to voice the protest of the Islamic Ummah against the Zionist regime.

The day falls on October 12 this year.

"The American officials loses all opportunities to cooperate with regional and other world states by trying to support a regime (the Zionist regime) which is now at its weakest political and social position," Elham said.

He warned that Washington's insistence on its wrong policies and arrogant approaches would have no result "but further political disgrace" for itself.

Referring to the approaching World Qods Day, the Spokesman stressed, "Supporters of the Zionist regime will definitely receive the final response for their support on that day.."

I would like to think that Mr. Elham is simply doing a bad imitation of the possessed Lewis Tully (Rick Moranis) in Ghostbusters ("You will perish in flames!"), but the smugly threatening tone of this statement leads me to think that the Iranians, or some of their proxies, are going to pull off some sort of event on or about October 12. "Qods" (or "Quds") refers to Jerusalem, and clearly both Israel ("the Zionist regime") and its major supporter, the U.S., are in Tehran's crosshairs.  Perhaps Hizbullah or the IRI's newest bedfellow, Hamas, will stage a major attack on Israel.  Maybe Syria, at Iran's instigation, will decide it's time to hit Israel (partly in payback for the Israeli destruction of the budding Syrian nuclear program).
But since I firmly believe that there is operational coordination between Tehran and al-Qa`idah--and in fact I think that Bin Ladin is being given safe harbor somewhere in Iran, likely in Qom--I think it more likely that a major al-Qa`idah attack will occur on or about October 12.
I even think it possible that something bigger may be in store: Iran may detonate a nuclear weapon by the end of Ramadan, if only at a test yield level.  Unlikely, granted, but possible.
11:42 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Americans v. Iraqi Mahdists: Follow-up
A number of soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division recently received commendations for the January 2007 battle against the Mahdists of Najaf, Iraq (here's the press release from the Public Affairs Office of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq:  As a veteran who never saw any combat, I take a back seat to no one in my admiration and respect for men like MSG Thomas Ballard, who won the  Bronze Star for leading a 12-man team that killed over 200 Mahdists and captured another 400 (some of whom have recently been executed, and many jailed long-term, by the Iraqi Courts: 
But military (and civilian) intelligence simply must start doing a better job informing our soldiers (and the public) about "messianic" Islam, or Mahdism.  Most importantly in this regard, why does the military insist on referring to this group--whose leader believed himself to be the Mahdi or no-longer-Hidden Imam--as a "cult?"  A cult is "a system of religious worship or ritual" involving "a devoted attachment to, or extravagant admiration for, a person...esp. when regarded as a fad [emphasis added]".  Individuals proclaiming themselves the Mahdi are hardly a fad in Islamic history; in both Sunni and Shi`i Islam, the Mahdist claimants over the 14 centuries of Islamic history are too numerous to list here.  Were the Fatimids (who ruled Egypt for 250 years in the Middle Ages) a cult? How about the Muwahhids, who ruled the Maghrib and Spain for over a century?  Or the Sudanese Mahdists, who took Khartoum and killed the Ottoman governor-general, one Charles Gordon?  Every one of these groups had a self-proclaimed Mahdi as its leader.  This Najaf Mahdi will not be the only outbreak of eschatological Islam, make no mistake.  And if U.S. military intelligence gets a better handle on the fact that Mahdism is a major strain within Islam, not simply an aberrant, occasional cult flare-up, brave folks like MSG  Ballard might be better prepared for the next Mahdist battle.
8:37 am edt          Comments

Sunday, September 16, 2007

C-SPAN: Still Trying to Whitewash (Radical) Islam
As of this writing I am watching C-SPAN2's "Book TV."  Lawrence Wright is interviewing Raymond Ibrahim, who works in the Middle East section at the Library of Congress and just published The al-Qaeda Reader, containing translations of Usama bin Ladin's and Ayman al-Zawahiri's writings.  Wright is trying, at every turn, to refute Ibrahim's analysis.  For example, Ibrahim was just discussing the fact that UBL and his ilk justify their violence from the Qur'an and the Hadiths.  Wright interjected "but of course every religion has violent tendencies: in Christianity you're supposed to stone homosexuals."  Amazing. I've read the New Testament numerous times, and I've yet to find that passage.  Wright is a noted and best-selling author and alleged "expert" on the war on terror and the Middle East--and a guest host on C-SPAN--yet he is incredibly ignorant (or simply misrepresentative) of the basic teachings of Christianity.  (For those of you that don't know: homosexuality is condemned as sinful in Romans 1:18-26, I Corinthians 6:9ff and I Timothy 1:8ff, but NOWHERE in the Christian faith is stoning mandated for gays or lesbians.)  Of course, this attempt to brand Christianity as equal to Islam in spawning violence is a familiar trope of mainstream media types. 
Ibrahim is now pointing out, over Wright's protestations, that Buddhists don't commit suicide bombings--whereas Muslims do, and furthermore that they ground such activity in their religion.  Wright is trying to counter with the example of the Japanese kamikazes, who were willing to die for the Emperor. 
Wright now is claiming that "every religion has contradictions in it" and is adducing Judaism as an example.  He's following this with vague, blanket statements about "fundamentalist Christians who want to bring about the end of days."  Ibrahim is countering that "there is no text in the New Testament telling them to do that"--whereas the Qur'an and Hadith, according to Islamic exegetes and commentators, DO contain violent commandments.  So Christians who act violently are contradicting their faith--whereas Muslims who do so are not necessarily contradicting theirs. 
(I've made this point in a number of articles, and of course Robert Spencer does so, quite articulately, for a living.)  
Wright has moved into claiming that this problem in Islam is because "Islam has no center of authority."  Well, that may be part of it.  But as Ibrahim is now responding, ijma' ("consensus" of Islamic authorities) has long said that violence is totally justified in expanding the Dar al-Islam (World of Islam) at the expense of the Dar al-Harb (World of  War, literally--that is, the rest of us who are not Muslims).  "Fighting is prescribed for you" is a Qur'anic dictate, as Ibrahim is pointing out. 
Wright just asked an incredibly moronic question: "why is violence just now becoming paramount in Islam?"  Ibrahim just told him--the "expert" on Islam--that "it's not modern, Islamic violence has always been justified and acted on to expand Islam, from the earliest days through the time of the Ottoman Empire."  And to Wright's rhapsodic musings about the tolerance of medieval Islam in al-Andalus (Spain), Ibrahim just reminded him "well, the Muslims got Spain in the first place through violent conquest." He also reminded Wright that "the  Crusades didn't happen until AFTER Muslims had invaded the Byzantine Christian Empire and conquered territory."
Watch yourself, if C-SPAN2 shows this again.  And I highly recommend getting a copy of The al-Qaeda Reader.  I'm going to stop listening to Wright's dhimmi drivel and go order the book.

9:52 pm edt          Comments

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clash of the Titans: Bin Ladin v. Khameini
Bin Ladin's latest video fulmination mirrors, in many ways, the rhetoric coming out of Tehran--especially that of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.  My article comparing and contrasting the two can be found today (September 10, 2007) at the History News Network under the title "Islamic Unity: Bin Ladin's Version v. Khameini's":
10:44 am edt          Comments

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Jamkaran Mosque near Qom, Iran (during my trip there Aug. 2008)

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