Iran, Hezbollah Intentionally Hasten Islamic View of Armageddon?
In his commentary on Philly.com (Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial) on 8/4/2006, Omar Fadhil explores the possibility that Hezbollah and Iran have been driven by a desire to bring forth the Islamic view of Armageddon, thereby exporting “the Islamic revolution throughout the Middle East.”
“As an observer of the conflict from Iraq, I see the signs that Iran may be starting to launch the mullahs’ version of an Armageddon, exploiting the religious beliefs of devout Shiites in the region. While this may sound more the stuff of prophecies than international relations, it is important to understand – especially in countries such as Lebanon and Iraq that have large Shiite populations.”
Fadhil describes the return of the “Imam” foretold in Shia Islam, which Christians could argue sounds suspiciously like the Beast outlined in the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible.
“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq are both devout believers in the “Imam” of Shia Islam. Also known as “Imam Mehdi” – hence the name of Sadr’s militia, the Mehdi Army – he was the 12th grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. According to certain branches of Shia Islam, the return of the “hidden Imam” must be prepared by his followers, in a particular sequence of events. Chaos and rampant violence in the region are supposed to be among signs leading to the main battle in which the Imam will return to lead Shiites to victory.”
In fact, preparations and anticipation for the arrival of their perceived savior-figure, Imam, have already begun to surface in Iraq.
“In eastern Baghdad, where Sadr’s militias are based, there has been a sudden appearance of banners and writings on the walls carrying religious messages that refer specifically to Imam Mehdi. A large number can be seen near the Interior Ministry complex, home to police forces loyal to Sadr. And reports are surfacing that Sadr’s militia is recruiting fighters to travel to Lebanon.”
“In this case, it looks like the way is being paved for the “imminent” arrival of the Imam to be announced through the Mumahidoon (those who pave the way for the Imam), which is how Sadr and his followers describe themselves.”
Wouldn’t belligerent, military actions to hasten the return of the “Imam” be opposed by other less hostile Arab nations? Fadhil explains that recent destabilization of pan-Arab nationalism has caused Islamic fundamentalism to gain momentum.
Note: Omar Fadhil (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a member of Friends of Democracy, a Baghdad-based organization to promote democratic values, and cofounder of the blog Iraq the Model (www.iraqthemodel.blogspot.com).
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