Ahmadinejad associates arrested for being 'magicians'
In a culture filled with anger, mistrust and hatred, one doesn't actually have to go beyond one's borders to find suitable targets for those primitive emotions. It seems that Iran's dinky, malevolent President has gotten himself way over on the wrong side of the nation's actual supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.The UK Guardian reports that:
In a culture filled with anger, mistrust and hatred, one doesn't actually have to go beyond one's borders to find suitable targets for those primitive emotions. It seems that Iran's dinky, malevolent President has gotten himself way over on the wrong side of the nation's actual supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The UK Guardian reports that:
Several people close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits)....
Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds."
In the West, we know those djinns as genies.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is well known as a "twelver." The twelvers believe that the 12th Imam who is closely related to the Mahdi, will return to bring the end of the world. Much like being labeled a birther or a truther here in the United States, the twelver moniker has become somewhat pejorative. The recent release of a purported documentary detailing the imminent return of the Hidden Imam has fueled the ire of senior Iranian clerics who are accusing Ahmadinejad and his allies of being behind the film.
Modern Iranian Islamists (talk about an oxymoron!) are deeply invested in the belief in the infallibility of the clerics on the path to the establishment of a theocratic caliphate. That Friday's morning prayers at Iranian mosques were dedicated to the issue of Khamenei's infallibility is a testament to the regime's determination to reinforce the moral authority of the clerics.
To tag an Iranian as a magician or "magi" has deeply established roots going back to Persia in the 4th century B.C. The Magi were known as followers of Zoroaster who was believed to have "invented" both astrology and magic. The term has been associated with tricksters and conjurers. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranians charged that Iraq's aggression was fueled by magicians.
The charges filed by the Iranian clerics clearly have deep emotional roots in this ancient society which often seems little changed from its Stone Age predecessors. If Mahmoud and his pals have any special powers, they had better get busy invoking them, because it looks like Khamenei and his council of mullahs is about to perform an Ahmadinejad extraction.
Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He blogs at www.rightot.blogspot.com