September 24, 2007
Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?By Amil Imani
To understand Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's mindset and behavior require close scrutiny of the elaborate and intricate theology of Hujetieh Shiism, perhaps the most fundamentalist of the numerous Shiite sects.
In the 1950s, a group of Islamic clergy led by Sheikh Mahmoud Halabi (a close associate of Ayatollah Khomeini) formed a society called the Anjoman-e Khayryyehye Hujjatiyyah-ye Mahdaviat (Charitable Society of the Mahdi), based in Mashhad, Iran. The Hujjatyyah membership was mostly composed by the bazaar-i businessmen and fanatical mullahs. Among many things, they were against the communists, Marxists, and atheists. Their overarching "raison d'être," however, was to prepare the world for the upcoming of the 12th Imam -- the Mehdi.
However, the most important immediate agenda item on their list was to harass and persecute the Baha'is, a religious group representing a small percentage of Iran's population. In fact, the Hujjatiyyah-y's alternative name became "The anti-Baha'i Society" (Anjuman-e Zidd-e Baha'iyat). They collectively worked for a single purpose: the eradication of Baha'is.
The terrible plight of the Baha'is in Iran is particularly heart-wrenching, since they are the largest non-Muslim population in the country and have been, from day one, severely brutalized by Muslims. Baha'i teachings of tolerance and openness to science are anathema to the Islamofascists on many levels, but the history of the faith includes direct challenges to the theological legitimacy of the mullahs. These slaveholders find the Baha'i faith a threat to their own version of Islam and the absolute theocratic power it puts their hands.
The egomaniac President Ahmadinejad is a member of Hujjatiyyah. He sees himself as the personal vassal of the Mahdi-Messiah or Hidden Imam, with whom he has fantasized tête-à-têtes frequently.
Ahmadinejad, a man driven by his religion, has a spiritual advisor in Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi (the defacto leader of the Hojatieh). The President's advisor is known for his extremist views on Islam and promotes suicide bombings and attacks on civilians in the West. There is only view of Islam for him. He once said, "...if anyone tells you their own interpretation of Islam, punch them in the mouth!"
President Ahmedinejad has in a short time acquired great many descriptors at home and overseas: zealot, fascist, fanatic, anti-Semitic, lunatic and more. One prominent Western columnist called him "unhinged." But we cannot just dismiss the man as an aberration, someone who is in urgent need of psychological help, a person out of touch with reality, who represents nothing of substance.
Once again the West is misreading and misjudging people and events in the Middle East, due to the fact that it views things through its own prism.
Looking at the man through Western spectacles, he indeed appears to be all of the above and more. Yet Ahmadinejad is far from unhinged. As a matter of fact he is firmly hinged to a set of beliefs that dictate his views of the world, and inform him how he should deal with it from his position of power.
An unhinged man has the potential of becoming once again hinged. But, there is very little that can be done to a person who is inseparably hinged, and Ahmadinejad views are firmly rooted in the most orthodox philosophy of Shiism.
For our purposes, however, it is sufficient to document the fact that Ahmadinejad is not mentally disturbed; there is no display of contradictory thoughts and behavior. There is a full internal consistency in Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad's words, deeds and beliefs show a fully hinged person.
Below are a few examples of his sayings, beliefs and actions. Whether one agrees or disagrees with them, they all fit perfectly into a consistent pattern.
▪ He literally believes in the imminent emergence of the Mahdi - the Shiites' promised one who is expected to appear to set aright a decadent and wretched world.
▪ He views himself as the vassal of Mahdi, working for him and being accountable to him.
▪ His main task is to prepare the world so to hasten the Mahdi's coming. If this preparation requires much destruction and bloodshed, so be it.
▪ As a former mayor of Tehran, he developed elaborate detailed plans preparing the city for the arrival of the Mahdi.
▪ He allocated generous sums for extensive road improvement to a mosque at Jamkaaraan near the city of Qum where it is believed the promised Mahdi is hiding in a well since the age of nine, over 1100 years ago.
▪ He reportedly visits the well frequently and drops his written supplications into the well for the hidden Mahdi to act upon them.
▪ He has said in private that it was he who asked the Mahdi to inflict the massive stroke on Ariel Sharon.
▪ He sees the Jews as the sworn enemies of Islam. The hostility dates back to the time of Muhammad's own treatment of the Jews in Medina. At first, expediently, Muhammad called the Jews "people of the book," and accorded them a measure of tolerance until he gained enough power to unleash his devastating wrath on them.
▪ He says that the Holocaust is a myth. He is, in this respect, in good company with a number of other revisionist fanatics.
▪ He wants Israel to be wiped out of the map or transferred to Europe.
▪ In his speech at the UN general assembly, he implored the Mahdi to come and save the world. He claimed that during his speech of some twenty odd minutes, a powerful light enveloped him and all participants were held transfixed, unable to move their eyes.
▪ He believes that the earth is Allah's and all people must either become believers of his brand of Islam or must perish as infidels najis (unclean) who by their very presence defile Allah's earth.
▪ He believes that this earthly life is passing and worthless in comparison to the afterlife awaiting a devoted and faithful believer. Hence, he holds to the old belief that if a faithful kills an infidel, he goes to Allah's paradise; and, if the faithful gets killed in the process of serving the faith, again he goes to Allah's paradise. Hence, it is a win-win proposition for the faithful.
Ahmadinejad is a true devoted Muslim. Being unpredictable, self-contradictory and inconsistent are major symptoms of the mentally unhinged. By these standards of insanity, Ahmadinejad emerges as completely sane. He is fully predictable, consistent and has shown no self-contradiction. He does not even pretend that he misspoke or apologize for his outrageous statements. He is not a typical politician who practices the devious art of doublespeak, deception and change of position to suit his immediate convenience.
He knows who he is, what he believes, and what his own mission in life is: serving as the instrument for the revered Mahdi. Allah will make him emerge from the well as soon as the world's conditions hit absolute hopeless bottom. Ahmadinejad sees himself as a driver who can play a critical role in doing just that, driving the world to the very bottom. And he plans on having an arsenal of nuclear weapons as soon as possible.
There is nothing really "unhinged" about Ahamadinejad's thinking, statements and actions. They are internally consistent. He is simply a fanatic who is wedded to an extremely dangerous exclusionary system of belief. Humanity must learn that dismissing him as alunatic will result in great suffering, as it did with Hitler.
Tragically, Ahmadinejad is the embodiment of several million people who are hinged exactly like him and who are willing to give their lives, and take with them as many lives as required in the service of their belief. In this age of Weapons of Mass Destruction a man with huge sums of petrodollars can serve as the catalyst of total annihilation.
Prudence would err on the side of being an alarmist than a complacent dismissive.
Ahmadinejad and his ilk are not interested in any negotiation, any compromise or any live-and-let-live final solution. They are determined to be the soldiers of Mahdi come-what-may. They have no problem with the total destruction of the world. They are headed for a life of eternal bliss in Allah's paradise. They hardly care, even rejoice, if the rest of humanity is subjected to a tragic death in the nuclear, biological and chemical wasteland of planet earth.
Humanity cannot afford and must not ignore the emergence of the final threat to its very existence on this planet.
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. He maintains a website at Amil Imani