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Monday, January 6, 2014

"The Return of the Twelfth Imam"

David Solway has drafted a humorous follow-up to an article from Robert Spencer concerning Shiite beliefs in the return of the 12th Imam (or "Mahdi"). First, some background from Spencer's article:
"Hearts,” warned Mohammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, in his last message, “will become inaccessible to compassion. The earth will be filled with tyranny and violence.” He was speaking of the time of his reappearance, explaining that he would only come back to the world when the evil that Muslims were suffering was at its absolute apex. In this he echoed a Shi’ite tradition of the words of the prophet of Islam himself, Muhammad, who prophesied that the Twelfth Imam would be “the Resurrector” and explained: “He will fill the world with peace and justice as today it is filled with violence and tyranny.”


That violence and tyranny is not incidental to the theology of the Twelfth Imam, which has revenge as its core and essence. The Shi’ites began to teach that the Twelfth Imam would return at a time when the Muslims were oppressed as never before, and suffering worse than ever. The Imam, in the company of Jesus (re-imagined, as in Sunni Islam, as a Muslim prophet), would finally end the horrific persecution of the true believers, taking up arms against their enemies and conquering and Islamizing the world.


This eschatological revenge fantasy would be of no concern to anyone but pious Shi’ites and religious anthropologists were it not for the element of Shi’ite tradition that requires that the earth be “filled with tyranny and violence” before the Twelfth Imam can return.


There is no requirement that non-Muslims must be responsible for that violence; Shi’ites filled with religious fervor, like the Ayatollah Khamenei and the mullahs behind him, could hasten the Twelfth Imam’s return and the consummation of all things by, say, launching a nuclear strike against Tel Aviv or some other Infidel outpost, knowing that by doing so they would almost certainly be provoking a retaliatory strike that would subject the Muslims in Iran to more defeat and repression than even the Shi’ites had previously suffered. That would be enough to bring the Twelfth Imam out of the well where he is said to be hiding.


But that is a matter of religious hope and speculation; the devastation that would supposedly lead to his reappearance, however, would be all too real. The two powers that the Iranian mullahs have long designated as the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan” – America and Israel – would be the only targets of an Iranian attempt to hasten the Twelfth Imam’s coming.
 Solway has penned an article suggesting that Obama meets the criteria for the 12th Imam:

He is half black, half white. He is tall and strides with a lope. He possesses dead eyes and prominent ears. His background is both obscure and exotic. He is persuasively eloquent and is adept at saying one thing while doing another. His head swivels from side to side when addressing the multitudes, as if reading from prepared texts no doubt lowered from on high and inscribed by the Lord or one of his angels. He gives the distinct impression of being a man-child. He is supremely confident and exudes a certain boyish charm many find irresistible. He is devoted to popular sports involving holes and nets as emblems of ensnaring. He bows frequently in false humility, cajoling the high and mighty of the earth, yet brooks no objection to his will when dissent is offered. He is to be found in many different places from one day to another. He is surrounded by loyal minions, many of whom appear to be imbeciles, who do his bidding without question or scruple. He occupies the seat of power.

Let me be very clear about this, for there are those who cannot bring themselves to confront the evidence of the Twelfth Imam’s uncloaking that I, privy to the discovery of the mystical codex through means I am forbidden to reveal, now set before them. All his actions are directed toward igniting the flames that wait to engulf the world. He diligently undermines the laws, security and prosperity of the people he ostensibly represents, and turns one against the other, sowing discord among the populace. He betrays his friends and allies and renders them vulnerable to international predators. He sponsors and supports warlike groups and aggressive regimes that seek world hegemony. He is an undeclared enemy of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. He is a great friend to Islam in its march toward imposing a caliphate upon unsuspecting nations. He welcomes the black flag and the yellow flag into the sanctum of domestic authority, distributing office among his Muslim acolytes. He smiles upon the ayatollahs and signs agreements that facilitate their holy designs to kindle universal violence and establish God’s kingdom on earth.

He has been schooled at the feet of prophets and sages and learned from the masters of canon and creed. He is the repository of sacred teachings and potent incantations, and is adept at uttering sonorous phrases that please as they befuddle. He is the embodiment of consecrated, numinous and venerable doctrine. He is no longer Hidden but exults among us in all his glory. He is the bringer of chaos and the last days. He will inaugurate a new world order.

Doubters and skeptics must give way. The Twelfth Imam has returned, confirmed in his exaltation by innumerable tokens and crests and auguries. Devastation will precede him and resurrection will surely follow in his wake. The infidel shall be destroyed, destroyed utterly, and the believer shall rise from the smoldering ruins in triumph and gladness of heart. All this shall come to pass for it is written.

He is the Mahdi.

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