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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: http://hnn.us/articles/13146.html; for more in-depth info, see the links here to my other writings, including my book on Mahdism.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Mark Steyn, Meet the Mahdi
11:34 pm est
Why are there so many tree-lined avenues in Paris? Apparently so that the Mahdi will be able to stroll in the shade.
At least that's what one of Ayatollah Khameini's spokesmen believes:
"In a dozen years, Europe will be
an Islamic continent," said Rasul Jalilzadeh on Friday as he was speaking to the basiji, a voluntary organisation in
the capital Tehran.
"The Islamisation of the European continent is imminent and this step favours the arrival of
the Mahdi," he said, referring to the 12th imam of Shiite Islam (http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Politics/?id=1.0.1696552901
Mark Steyn's book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It
already spelled out, quite ominously,
the demographic decline of Christian Europe and the ascendance of the Muslim populace there. Little did he know that
there was a mystical aspect to this phenomenon.
On the plus side (for us), the Mahdi might have to stay on his side of
the Pond, because according to "USA Today" today:
"The fertility rate among
Americans has climbed to its highest level since 1971, setting the country apart from most industrialized nations that are
struggling with low birthrates and aging populations.
The fertility rate hit 2.1 in 2006, according
to preliminary estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics. It's a milestone: the first time since
shortly after the baby boom ended that the nation has reached the rate of births needed for a generation to replace itself,
an average 2.1 per woman.
"What matters is that the U.S. is probably one of very few industrialized
countries that have a fertility rate close to or at replacement level," says José Antonio Ortega, head of the
fertility section at the United Nations' Population Division....(http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-19-fertility_N.htm).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
9:14 am est
The Islamic Republic of Iran is working on making Nicaragua part of the Mahdi's coming caliphate--or at least detaching
it from the orbit of El Diablo Notreamericano:
"Iran is establishing a Central American foothold
in Nicaragua, to the alarm of some U.S. state department officials, it is being reported.
Antonio News-Express said Monday that Nicaragua, with the backing of its Venezuelan ally, has been forging a new partnership
Part of that relationship comes in the form of a $350 million deep-water port at Monkey Point on Nicaragua's Atlantic coast that is to extend across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. Iran has also recently opened an embassy
in Nicaraguan capital of Managua....Despite U.S. warnings, Latin America countries, such as Nicaragua and Venezuela have recently
been cultivating ties with Iran. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has met with Tehran officials several times this year
to seek help with several major infrastructure projects. And on Monday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wrapped up a visit to the Islamic republic aimed at building a "strategic unity"...." (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317193,00.html)
What happened to the "kinder, gentler" Daniel Ortega that we heard about when he was running
for El Presidente? He's simply substituted Tehran for Moscow as an ATM.
This development, along with
El Jefe Hugo's ongoing wooing of the ayatollahs and the alarming increase in conversions to Islam among Hispanic gang
members (http://www.pluralism.org/research/profiles/display.php?profile=72671 and http://www.mexidata.info/id697.html), should concern all of us. Who knows, maybe the Democrats might even manage to discuss the topic at one of their head-in-the-sand-about-terrorism
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Emmy, Oscar, Nobel--now Mahdiyah for Al Gore?
2:57 pm est
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the, er, sand....comes this cartoon:
For those of you who aren't Frank Herbert fans, Dune is in my humble opinion
one of the three
greatest sci-fi novels of all time (along with A Canticle for
Leibowitz and The Mote in God's Eye),
and it presents the most convincing secondary
world created by an author since Tolkien's Middle-earth. It's
set 10,000 years
in the future, with humanity spread out over the galaxy and rife with prophecies
of the coming
of the Kwisatz Haderach, a Mahdi/messiah-like figure.
For those of you that are familiar with
the Dune universe, I suppose if you're
on the Left you would think Gore could play the Paul Atreides role. But
I would think
most of you would be more likely to see Obama in that part (see my post below).
Most of us
not on the Left don't usually pine for human messianic deliverers,
having a much more jaded view of human nature.
Special thanks to Stormbear at http://www.towncalleddobson.com/ for
permission to repost this. AND go check out his nonpartisan
"Books for Soliders"
Friday, December 14, 2007
Religious "Bigotry"--or Honest Doctrinal Analysis?
10:34 am est
Don't get me wrong--if Mitt Romney gets the Republican nomination, I'll almost certainly vote for him for President.
But it's very disheartening (and unpresidential, frankly) of him to play the "religious bigotry" card whenever
hard questions get asked about Mormon theology. This is very much the tack taken by Muslims whenever Robert Spencer
or Julia Gorin (or I, for that matter) point out unsavory doctrines in Islam (jihad, beheading, dhimmitude,
etc.). And it plays into the secular media's reductionist belief that all religions are basically the same--which
is demonstrably absurd. In this vein, Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has taken flack from
the media--both the Left ("New York Times") AND the Right (Rush Limbaugh--for saying that in Mormonism Jesus and
Lucifer are brothers. Well, according to this Q & A in the Ensign, the flagship magazine of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Huckabee was exactly right.
Marge Simpson's "uhmmmm, it's
true but he still shouldn't say it" comes to mind.
How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit
brothers when their characters and purposes are so utterly opposed?
L. Christensen, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, June 1986, 25–26
Jess L. Christensen, Institute of Religion director at Utah State University, Logan, Utah. On first hearing,
the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted
with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring
of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too,
was an angel “who was in authority in the presence of God,” a “son of the morning.” (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus
was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.) (http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=4a10ef960417b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Where's Your Messiah Now?
11:05 pm est
Be Careful What You Wish For...
10:30 pm est
Every few years some journalist discovers Sufism--mystical Islam--and hastens to write a piece extolling its possibilities
as an anti-jihadist movement. The latest to do so is Jane Lampman of the "Christian Science Monitor," December
5, 2007, in an article entitled "Sufism may be Powerful Antidote to Islamic Extremism" (http://wwrn.org/article.php?idd=27084
). Much the same approach was taken--even more in-depth--by Stephen Schwartz in The Weekly Standard
2005 ("Getting to Know the Sufis").
Lampman, a number of times, quotes Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor
of Islamic Studies at George Washington University and a noted Sufi himself: "Sufism is the most powerful antidote to
the religious radicalism called fundamentalism...." and "some of the greatest reform movements in the 19th century
were carried out by Sufis...."
True. But what Nasr ignores is that some of the most violent revolutionary
movements in Islamic history were led, and manned, by Sufis. Six of the eight major Mahdist movements I discuss in my
book Holiest Wars
were started, and staffed, by Sufi shaykhs, each of whom at some juncture decided he was the Mahdi:
Muhammad Jawnpuri (d. 1505), in Gujarat (India), a member of the Chistiyah Sufi order; Ibn Abu Mahallah (d. 1613), in Morocco,
belonged to the Qutbaniyah; Ahmad Barelwi (d. 1831), was an Indian Naqshabandi; Muhammad Amzian (d. 1879), in French-occupied
Algeria, was a member of the Rahmaniyah; one of the most successful Mahdis ever, Muhammad Ahmad of Sudan (d. 1885), belonged
to the Sammaniyah; and in 1930 a Sufi named Mehmet tried to start an eschatological revolt against the newly-established Turkish
So you see, while Sufism's undeniable spirituality and syncretism can often counterbalance Wahhabi/Salafi
intolerance, its tendency to idealize charismatic leaders has many times also led to violent fervor within its own ranks that
eventually spills out into the larger society. Indeed, while Sufism does not always produce Mahdism, Mahdism is more
likely to develop within a Sufi context than almost any other.
|Jamkaran Mosque near Qom, Iran (during my trip there Aug. 2008)