Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A

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Lid geworden op: vr sep 29, 2006 5:18 pm

Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A

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Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A Power Grab?

By Mazyar Mokfi, Charles Recknagel
Until very recently, the West regarded Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s man.

The president’s first term was largely about completing the hard-line backlash, approved by the supreme leader, against the reformist camp led by former President Mohammad Khatami. And Ahmadinejad did the job thoroughly.

But now Ahmadinejad begins his second term immediately after feuding with the supreme leader. At issue was Ayatollah Khamenei's backing of conservative demands that the president dismiss a top aide.

The reasons for the demands are less important than the result. Ahmadinejad dismissed the aide, who is his brother-in-law, reappointed him to another top position, and informed Khamenei in cold terms that he had complied with the supreme leader's request.

The highly public spat between the president and the supreme leader just before the inauguration gives new reasons to consider where Ahmadinejad is going.

Some of the most telling signs are the least obvious ones, partly because they are couched in religious symbolism that few outside Iran understand. But inside Iran, the symbols carry tremendous weight and much is read into them.

This week, just before Ahmadinejad's inauguration for a second term, his government financed an event not seen in the Islamic republic before.

Construction workers used water trucks to spray rose water over the entire surface of the mosque of the Mahdi in Qom. The Mahdi, the 12th descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, is the spiritual leader of Iran's majority Shi'ite believers, who await his eventual return to bring order and harmony to the world.

The perfuming of the mosque, shown on television, is in line with the Iranian establishment's veneration of the Mahdi, who is believed to have gone into hiding as a child in the 10th century to escape enemies. But it is also the kind of symbol that has become a hallmark of Ahmadinejad's administration: setting the stage for the Hidden Mahdi's imminent -- not eventual -- return.

Mahdi Highway

There have been many similar gestures.

The government has spent heavily on constructing a highway from Qom toward the Iran-Iraq border, even providing the completed sections with lighting for night driving.

The road is in the direction of Samarra, in Iraq, the location from which the Mahdi disappeared and where he is expected to reappear. It is there for the Mahdi to use to come immediately to the holy city of Qom and begin his reign on earth.

At the same time, Ahmadinejad, who leaves an empty seat for the Mahdi at his cabinet meetings, has at times appeared to claim his government is specially protected by the Mahdi. Upon his return from a speech at the United Nations in June, 2005, he said that others present saw a "light" envelop him as he spoke.

"A person [who attended the UN summit] told me that when I started to say 'in the name of God' a halo of light surrounded you and you were protected by a fence of light until the end of your speech," Ahmadinejad said.

"I felt it myself as well. I felt the atmosphere was changed and people did not blink for the 27 or 28 minutes of my address."

Ahmadinejad himself at times goes to Qom to very publicly ask for the Mahdi's blessings by casting a message down a well at his mosque. The gesture is common among Iran's believers, but with the president it also is meant to underline how much Ahmadinejad sees himself as merely the steward of the government until the Mahdi comes.

All of this could be seen as religious and nonpolitical except for one thing: the Islamic republic already has a steward in the Mahdi's absence. The steward is the supreme leader.

That raises the possibility that Ahmadinejad’s symbolic sidestepping of the supreme leader today could end in the political sidestepping of the supreme leader tomorrow. And, as Ahmadinejad begins his second term in an unprecedented riff with Khamenei, the possibility only seems to grow more likely.

Ahmadinejad himself has said he considers his goal to be handing over power to the "original leader" of the country's government. The allusion, again, is to the Mahdi's imminent return, an event which would make the constitution and the office of supreme leader superfluous.

But it is not just Ahmadinejad, whom reformists accuse of stealing the June election, who bears watching. Other powerful figures, too, are sidestepping Khamenei -- suggesting broader forces than just Ahmadinejad are in play.

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One is the ultraconservative cleric who is widely considered to be Ahmadinejad's mentor, Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi. He believes an Islamic government gets its legitimacy only from God. That is despite the provision for elections in the Islamic Republic’s constitution and the fact the constitution is protected by the supreme leader.

Mesbah-Yazdi recently wrote on his website that “the legitimacy of the government has always been dependent on God’s determination and it does not depend on the people. It is a divine order and the leader is selected by Him.”

Such readiness to do away with the Islamic republic’s constitutional provisions for popular representation do not only worry Iran’s beleaguered reformists. It also worries some of the Islamic republic’s most powerful establishment figures.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has recently appeared to warn the supreme leader that the real stakes in the election crisis are the existing order of the Islamic republic itself.

Speaking about Khamenei’s endorsement of Ahmadinejad as president elect following the June vote, Rafsanjani told the supreme leader: "Your support for him is making a fire whose smoke will go first into your eyes."

The warning is doubly significant because Rafsanjani is neither a frontline reformist nor a personal friend of Khamenei. He is a moderate conservative intent on preserving Iran's current structure.

Reformist leaders go further. Former President Mohammad Khatami has warned the public against what he called "a group trying to take the republic out of the constitution." He did not name the group because, given Iran's postelection crisis, he does not need to.

Conspiracy Theories

Iran, of course, is a country where conspiracy theories abound. And arguments that there are organized groups maneuvering to take power and pursue their own agenda are never difficult to find.

One of the most widespread conspiracy theories centers upon a hidden movement to which the names of various hard-liners like Ahmadinejad and Mesbah-Yazdi are often linked. It is a movement barely known in the West but considered powerful in Iran: the Hojjatiyeh.

The Hojjatiyeh movement appeared in Iran in the 1950s as a purist Shi'ite backlash against perceived gains by the Baha'i and the Sunni communities, both of which it regards as blasphemous.

Originally, this led to an accommodation with the shah under which -- in exchange for crackdowns on the two groups -- the Hojjatiyeh supported the monarch against revolutionary clerics like Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and against the communists. But the arrangement broke down as the Hojjatiyeh saw the crackdowns as ineffective and switched sides to Khomeini.

The fit between Khomeini and the Hojjatiyeh was never a comfortable one, partly because the movement believes that only with the arrival of the Mahdi can a genuine Islamic government be established. That implied that Khomeini’s concept of a supreme leader guiding a constitutional government was insufficient.

This and other disagreements finally led to the movement being banned in 1983. But despite going underground, the movement regained strength, evolved, and today is widely believed to be a highly secretive network with members in many state institutions.

Nicola Pedde, director of Globe Research, a think tank specializing in Middle Eastern issues in cooperation with the University of Rome, Italy, is one of the few Western researchers who has studied the group.

He says there are a lot of rumors and legends in Iran, according to which "a lot of people are supposed to be part of the Hojjatiyeh or some of those who are part of the upper level of the clerical system are suspected of being part of this group."

"Of course the most famous [suspect] is Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi but nobody can really confirm this information,” he says.

Conspiracy theories are just that: theories. But they often gain attention when they contain a grain of truth or neatly express people's fears.

Is there an ultra-conservative, secretive group which might try to usurp power to realize its own vision of a Shi'ite state that is Islamist without being a republic and which seeks to hasten the Mahdi's return?

It may be a stretch too far to make that argument today. But as Iran begins another four years under the enigmatic Ahmadinejad, it might be something to keep in mind for the future.

Individual Shi'a believe that the Mahdi's return can be hastened by one of two ways. He will reappear when the faithful build a just society to entice him back or when the world is consumed in an apocalyptic struggle between good and evil and believers need his protection.

Which way the president's camp favors, no one knows for sure.
Het is een parasitaire soort die leeft op de intelligentie van anderen en deze dan tegen hun gebruikt;
Berichten: 144
Lid geworden op: zo okt 15, 2006 3:38 pm

Re: Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A

Bericht door waarnemer »

Ik heb ook ergens een beschouwing gelezen waarbij het geenszins denkbeeldig is dat Ahmadinejad en de conservatieve clerus op een atoomoorlog aansturen.

Dat komt aardig overeen met 'de andere visie':
or when the world is consumed in an apocalyptic struggle between good and evil and believers need his protection.

In hun verwrongen wereldbeeld maakt het niet uit als de halve bevolking de dood wordt ingejaagd want de komst van de Mahdi gaat bovenal.
Berichten: 782
Lid geworden op: za dec 03, 2005 4:32 pm
Locatie: Londonistan

Re: Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A

Bericht door Persian_revenge »

good and evil
Wist je dat het concept van Good and Evil Perzisch van oorsprong is? Het woord Duivel komt echter van het Perzische woord "Diev".
dat Ahmadinejad en de conservatieve clerus op een atoomoorlog aansturen.
Wat de nucleaire technologie betreft, zijn alle fracties het over eens dat het nagestreeft moet worden en het staat nu los van deze machtstrijd. Iran zal sowieso nucleair worden en het westen moet er gewoon mee leren leven.
Het Amerikaanse Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken heeft trouwens vandaag verklaard dat Iran nog jaren nodig heeft, tenminste tot 2012, om genoeg uranium voor EEN bom te vergaren.
Analyse: het ziet ernaar uit dat de Amerikanen dat dossier beu zijn en de zaak nu stilaan aan het relativeren is. De V.S. lijkt eindelijke te hebben beseft dat Iran het koste wat het koste wenst te hebben. De Europese dwerg heeft dan ook geen ander keus dan Uncle Sam daarin te volgen.

Hojattiyeh is inderdaad een gevaarlijke beweging maar ik zie Ahmadinejad en zijn geestelijke meester Ajatollah Yazdi het niet overleven. Hojattiyeh zal altijd weinig aanhang hebben in Iran vooral omdat het zo extremistisch is.

Rafsanjani en zijn bende anderzijds hebben genoeg geld om desnoods de leider, die beweging en Ahmadinejad ten onder te brengen. Ahmadinejad is trouwens geen echte politicus. Die aap is maar een marjonet.
Onderschat zeker Rafsanjani niet (de vos). Er zijn al geruchten dat hij al heimelijk in Qom met andere machtige Ajatollahs volop aan het vergaderen is.

De enige Ajatollah waar ik toch een beetje respect voor heb is Montazeri die in feite Khomeini moest opvolgen maar uit gratie van Khomeini viel vooral omdat hij te liberaal en zachtaardig was. Hij was tegen de terechtstelling van politieke gevangenen en kwam rechtstreeks in botsing met Khomeini. Sindsdien heeft hij jaren onder huisarrest doorgebracht. Hij is trouwens een echte Ajatollah -in tegenstelling tot Khamenei. Hij is min of meer geliefd wat tegenwoordig in Iran zeer raar is onder de politici.
Het probleem is dat hij te oud is.
Roman troops prefer to suffer any fate rather than look a Persian in the face [Libianus, XVIII}
Berichten: 42475
Lid geworden op: za feb 24, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Could Ahmadinejad's Mix Of Mysticism And Politics Lead To A

Bericht door Mahalingam »

Die Mahdi die wil maar niet komen. En hij had er allang moeten zijn. Hoe komt dat? De Joden? nee, de USA. Die houden hem tegen (op magische wijze?),2933,579 ... latestnews
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims the United States is attempting to thwart the return of mankind's savior, according to reports from Al Arabiya, a television news station based in Dubai.

Ahmadinejad reportedly claims he has documented evidence that the U.S. is blocking the return of Mahdi, the Imam believed by Muslims to be the savior.
“We have documented proof that they believe that a descendant of the prophet of Islam will raise in these parts and he will dry the roots of all injustice in the world,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech on Monday, according to Al Arabiya.
"They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the grounds for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Ahmadinejad continued the rant by claiming there have been plots by both the West as well as countries in the East to wipe out his country, according to Iranian news Web site Tabak.
"They have planned to annihilate Iran. This is why all policymakers and analysts believe Iran is the true winner in the Middle East," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the site. He also alleged that foreign nations seek to control Iran's oil and natural resources.
"In Afghanistan, they are caught like an animal in a quagmire. But instead of pulling their troops out to save themselves, they are deploying more soldiers. Even if they stay in Afghanistan for another 50 years they will be forced to leave with disgrace — because this is a historical experience," Ahmadinejad reportedly said.
"They know themselves that they need Iran in the Middle East, but because of their arrogance they do not want to accept this reality. They are nothing without the Iranian nation and all their rhetoric is because they don't want to appear weak."
Wie in de Islam zijn hersens gebruikt, zal zijn hoofd moeten missen.
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