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Ahmadinejad and the Hidden Imam

Reader comment on item: Decision Time on Iran

Submitted by Dr. Marc Mayerson (United States), Oct 31, 2006 at 15:21

I would offer a note of caution about being too alarmed about Ahmadinejad and the Hidden Imam.

In isolation, the Iranian leader's eschatological leanings are, to my knowledge, no more threatening than President Bush's evangelical eschatology. If we are indeed to be afraid of any leader with a belief in the end times, then we should, logically, disqualify all Christians from becoming President of the United States. Let us soberingly remember that Christians believe that a Jewish carpenter who lived 2006 years ago, who claimed to be the Jewish Messiah (later amending that to being God made flesh), who reportedly walked on water and rose from the dead, will return during the great conflagration between good and evil at the end of the world, vanguish the infidels and establish his reign on an Earth forever free of non-Christians. No fooling, this is what the Christian bible teaches its readers and believers. Furthermore, Evangelical Christians believe those very end times are imminent.

Sounds pretty frightening for Muslims and Jews and all the rest of the non-Christians. The man with the greatest arsenal of nuclear weapons on Earth believes this fantastic myth and its accompanying eschatology wholeheartedly. And yet, we blithely assume that President's Bush's faith has nothing to do with his secular and nuclear politics. Why can we not afford the Iranian leader the same assumption?

Is it because Ahmadinejad is a bellicose leader who questions the holocaust and proclaims Israel's illegitimacy? This is hardly an uncommon view among Arab leaders, who routinely receive pats on the back from American presidents. I also think that American heroes such as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh would have probably agreed with the Iranian leader. Maybe we fear the Iranian because he claims to have direct communication with the Hidden Imam. Well, every evangelical Christian will tell you that he or she has a "personal relationship with Jesus," and this includes the President of the United States. We must ask ourselves: Is Jesus telling the President to "drop the nuclear bombs and hasten My coming"?

To wit, we must be careful not to demonize the Iranian leader because of his religious leanings, absurd though they may be. As that Jewish carpenter from 2006 years ago once observed, "judge not, lest ye be judged."

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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