An ominous declaration about America’s future was made in 1998, generating little media attention at the time. Three years later, only after the declarant made good on his promise, did America stand up and take notice. Similarly, a declaration occurring last month—forewarning us of even graver consequences—also received little attention. We ignore such declarations at our own peril.
In 1998, a little-known terrorist by the name of Osama bin Laden declared war against the U.S. The story made but a small blip on the news media’s radar screen. Perhaps because bin Laden’s declaration was reminiscent of the 1959 comedy film The Mouse That Roared in which a mythical small country declared war against the U.S., the threat was given no credence. On 9/11, the “mouse” came roaring back like a lion.
That experience should have put us on notice when an Islamic extremist makes an outlandish declaration, we need to take heed.
Last month, Tehran’s ruling religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made just such an outlandish declaration. If the news media fully understood this religious fanatic’s mindset, Khamenei’s declaration should have been the topic on every major news program in the Free World. But in a Western world totally out of touch with the realities of the evil man is capable of perpetrating upon his fellow man, stories about actress Lindsay Lohan’s jailhouse experiences receive more coverage than Khamenei’s declaration and the threatening message it conveys about the world’s future.
Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution swept theocratic extremists into power, Iran has been governed by only two “supreme leaders” who have the highest authority under the country’s constitution. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini served in this capacity until his death in 1989, replaced by Ayatollah Khamenei who has served ever since. Their rule has been absolute and brutal to secure and maintain power at home. And, guided by a constitution unlike that of any other nation in the world, they justify spreading their brutality abroad.
Iran’s constitution mandates the Islamic Revolution that brought the theocrats to power in 1979 be exported internationally. In a nutshell, the goal is to establish a global caliphate in which Islam reigns as the supreme religion. This goal is to be achieved with the help of the Mahdi.
Sunnis and Shi’ites represent the main two divisions under Islam. Sunnis are the larger group by an almost 9:1 ratio. A nation of Shi’ites, Iran has views of Islam that conflict significantly with those of its Sunni neighbors. Both divisions adhere to the “Mahdi” prophecy—or the belief a redeemer of Islam will one day restore their faith to greatness with all other religions subservient to it. The Mahdi (a.k.a. “12th Imam”) lived in the 13th Century, disappearing at the age of five—but is to return just before Judgment Day. For Shi’ites, the Mahdi symbol has become a much more powerful and central part of their religion than for Sunnis.
It is believed the Mahdi’s return will be ushered in during a three year period of world chaos. Most believe this chaos must evolve naturally. However, Khamenei and Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on whose behalf Khamenei helped steal the 2009 election, believe otherwise. They believe man can serve as a catalyst in creating the world chaos to trigger events to bring about the Mahdi’s return.
Khamenei and Ahmadinejad seem locked in a competitive struggle as to who is most spiritually “in tune” with the Mahdi.
Ahmadinejad has made it clear he is to play a special role in the Mahdi’s return by preparing the world for the event. This became obvious when he served as mayor of Tehran prior to being elected president in 2005. As mayor, he ordered the widening of some city streets to prepare for the Mahdi’s parade. He committed millions of dollars in funding to expand a mosque outside the holy city of Qom where it is believed the Mahdi will make his re-appearance.
As president, Ahmadinejad has gone as far as to suggest he is a messenger of Mohammad. He has confided in some Arab leaders the Mahdi will return before his term ends. Prior to delivering his first speech at the United Nations in 2006, he could be heard praying to the Mahdi. Following his UN appearance, he told Iranian religious leaders he saw himself engulfed in a “halo” as he spoke—a sign of his spiritual alignment with the Mahdi (although the halo apparently was visible only to the Iranian president).
Now to the declaration last month that failed to generate media attention.
Ayatollah Khamenei has reported to his advisors that the Mahdi made an appearance before him, sharing the news his return will occur before the supreme leader dies. Whether Khamenei viewed this visit, just prior to his 71st birthday, as a birthday gift from the Mahdi, we do not know. But his motivation for making the statement has to be analyzed.
One possible motivation is that Khamenei, fearful that only Ahmadinejad is experiencing the Mahdi’s spiritualism, felt compelled to “create” a spiritual experience of his own making. The “halo” story had already been claimed by Ahmadinejad, so Khamenei had to be a little more creative.
If the motivation was not a product of creative license, two other possible motivations exist.
1. Khamenei really believes he was visited by the Mahdi as a result of the opium-based painkillers he is taking for his cancer treatment. (As the hospital where he is being treated bears the name of the Mahdi—the 12th Imam Hospital—his surrounding conditions may have been ripe for such a hallucination.)
2. Khamenei, free of any drugs that might have impaired his thought process, truly believes the Mahdi did pay him a visit.
With a cancer-ridden body, Khamenei may not have many years left. Therefore, if he did not create the experience and he believes the Mahdi is to return before he dies, Khamenei may believe we are already looking at the world chaos necessary to trigger the Mahdi’s re-appearance. With a nutcase like Ahmadinejad serving as Khamenei’s wingman, either is capable of taking the final action to add to that chaos. With Iran probably having a nuclear capability within a year, the reality of the death and destruction this dynamic duo of diehards could render starts to set in.
Khamenei’s alleged vision has prompted an action by him he never undertook previously during eleven years of his rule.
Shortly after his vision, he announced his rule is a direct succession to that of the Prophet Mohammad. And, although Shi’ites only account for about 13% of Muslims, he claims to be ruler of the Muslim world. These claims have been made before by Iran on behalf of their supreme leader—but it is the first time such claims have personally been made by the supreme leader.
In 2006, Ahmadinejad wrote a rambling, 18-page letter to President George Bush that some interpreted as a warning. Last April, Ahmadinejad wrote to President Barack Obama. To date, the White House has refused to release the letter. At a time the Obama Administration refuses to even recognize an Islamist threat exists, one can only wonder why its contents have yet to be released.
As the Koran states the Mahdi will not return in an odd-numbered year, as world chaos is to precipitate his reappearance, as Ahmadinejad claims the Mahdi’s return will occur before his presidency ends in 2013, as a dying Khamenei claims the return will happen before his death, and as Iran stands on the brink of arming itself with nuclear weapons, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad view the planets as all falling into alignment for them.
From the vantage point of these two fanatics, 2012 may be shaping up as the year of the Mahdi’s return.