What drives Ahmadinejad's combative rhetoric

The hard-line views expressed by the Iranian president at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday are informed by a Messianic religious belief.

Mohebat Ahdiyyih, writing in The Middle East Forum's Middle East Quarterly, explains the ideological influences of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad seeks an Islamic government in Iran that is free from democratic pretenses and devoid of modern concepts of human rights and the equality of the sexes; that seeks the acquisition of nuclear weapons, the elimination of Israel, the destruction of liberal democratic states and Western capitalism, and an end to the United States as a superpower, which is perceived as the greatest threat to the Islamic Republic's survival and the main obstacle to the accomplishment of its objectives. The achievement of these preconditions, Ahmadinejad believes, will enable Shi‘i domination and the establishment of a world government.[31]
It is an attractive idea for the masses, nurtured on more than two decades of state-sponsored incitement. Khomeini, after all, called for the Islamic world to "rise up and destroy Israel,"[33] and said of the United States, "We will fight them with all our might until the last drop of our blood."[34]
Further coloring Ahmadinejad's world-view, even if not his Mahdism, has been German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Iranian intellectuals react favorably to Heidegger's real or perceived anti-American sentiments, anti-Semitism, and his criticism of traditional Western thought. His grand theory of existence and his objection to attaching great significance to logical reasoning and intelligibility, as well as his theories of the value of nothingness, are concepts that have made him the darling of many Iranian intellectuals.
This article in the Christian Science Monitor attempts to downplay the threat.
Critics in Iran – many of them clerics – charge that Ahmadinejad's conviction that the "end of times" is near has brought Iran dangerously close to war with the US and Israel.

"Nothing connects with the audience like the vocabulary of imminence," says Kurt Anders Richardson, an expert on Shiite theology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"It's great to live with imminence if you believe. It changes everything: it supercharges politics, it supercharges ethics and collective feeling.

"Also it's a great antidote to worldly distractions. Instead of fear instigated by morality police, you have euphoria, a profound enticement," says Dr. Richardson, speaking in Tehran during a recent conference on Mahdism doctrine. "Clearly these people are motivated by the belief they will be privileged to see the return of the Mahdi in their lifetime." ...

Critics found voice in a July article about "deviant" claims of the president's proximity to the divine. "Do you believe that these speeches can excuse the government of its mismanagement, inflation, increasing prices, dissatisfaction, and the protest of people?" wrote Rasoul Montajabnia, a cleric and opposition politician.

Few believers in Iran doubt that the "ultimate savior" will come one day. Ahmadinejad says the Mahdi will destroy unjust rulers who "are not connected to the heavens [and are separated] from the almighty prophets" – meaning those of the United States, Israel, and the West.

1 comment:

  1. .
    He's a total nut-job/ Iran's version of a Pat Robertson, but much worse even. Hillary made it worse by dropping out of the Anti-Amadmadmonkey Rally when she heard Palin was invited, effin PIAPS!

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    Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
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