Daniel Pipes: On Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his obsessive mission of Mahdaviat....
Ahmadinejad is apparently on an unalterable mission and course that is not open to any other body of thought and reasoning---a course that is highly unlikely to become altered or deterred. As Pipes points out, Ahmadinejad, like other most dangerous leaders throughout the history of civilization, "is equipped with a totalitarian ideology and a mystical belief in (his) own mission."
Pipes also points out that, with Ahmadinejad's "expected nuclear arsenal," he is an "adversary who must be stopped, and urgently."
Some excerpts are included below, but do use the above link to read the entire column for a full understanding of the obsessive path Ahmadinejad has chosen to take.
"Iran's Ahmadinejad Must Be Stopped"
"Thanks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, a new word has entered the political vocabulary: mahdaviat. Not surprisingly, it’s a technical religious term. Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for “rightly-guided one,” a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world.”
The concept originated in the earliest years of Islam and, over time, became particularly identified with the Shi‘ite branch. Whereas “it never became an essential part of Sunni religious doctrine.... “Belief in the coming of the Mahdi of the Family of the Prophet became a central aspect of the faith in radical Shi‘ism,” where it is also known as the return of the Twelfth Imam.
Mahdaviat means “belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi.” In a fine piece of reporting, Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor shows the centrality of mahdaviat in Ahmadinejad’s outlook and explores its implications for his policies....
....the “presidential obsession” with mahdaviat leads Ahmadinejad to “a certitude that leaves little room for compromise. From redressing the gulf between rich and poor in Iran, to challenging the United States and Israel and enhancing Iran’s power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi’s return.”
“Mahdaviat is a code for [Iran’s Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution,” says the head of the institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi’s appearance....
Some Iranians, reports PBS, “worry that their new president has no fear of international turmoil, may think it's just a sign from God.”
Mahdaviat has direct and ominous implications for the U.S.-Iran confrontation, says an Ahmadinejad supporter, Hamidreza Taraghi of Iran’s hard-line Islamic Coalition Society. It implies seeing Washington as the rival to Tehran and even as a false Mahdi. For Ahmadinejad, the top priority is to challenge America, and specifically to create a powerful model state....
I’d reverse that formulation. The most dangerous leaders in modern history are those (like Hitler) equipped with a totalitarian ideology and a mystical belief in their own mission. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fulfills both these criteria, as revealed by his U.N. comments. That combined with his expected nuclear arsenal make him an adversary who must be stopped, and urgently...."
[Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and author of Miniatures.]