The Signs of the Times: The Eschatology of Ahmadinejad’s final Speech Before UN

The speech by the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the 67th UN General Assembly was religiously charged. Yet, there is no analysis of this in the media. What was interesting was not that he opened with praise to Allah, but that he closed with an Islamic eschatological vision that was the point of the various injustices and failures of capitalism (and communism) his speech outlined.

Here is what he said.

Ahmadinejad said “God has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named (inaudible), a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ and the righteous.”

He then expounded further, “He will come to return all children of Adam, irrespective of their skin colors, to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division, linking them

What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face?

to eternal happiness and joy. The arrival of the ultimate savior, Jesus Christ and the righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars, but through thought, awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breed a new life in the cold and frozen hearts and body of the world.”

It is a shame that the media is so religiously illiterate that they thought this was just religious rant or doctrinaire speak. All the injustices and failures he talked of were simply setting the stage for an eschatological warning to the nations of the earth that we are on the verge that Islam will reign as a punishment. These are the signs of the times.

Curiously, though I do not say this in the spirit of conspiracy, the UN transcript I’ve quoted from says the name of the individual who will come with Jesus in judgment was inaudible – more illiteracy. In fact, I heard it quite clearly. His name is also stated in the official transcript from the Iranian government.

The one who will come that Ahmadinejad is referring to is the Imam al-Mahdi, who is not mentioned in the Quran. According to tradition, the Mahdi will appear to bring justice and truth to all, when the entire world will accept Islam. His death (before the day of resurrection) will bring turmoil, uncertainty, and temptation. There is not agreement over the Mahdi’s precise relationship to Jesus, but Ahmadinejad was clear that they will appear together. The various interpretations are a denial there will be a Muslim Mahdi, since the second coming of Jesus alone will fulfill this role. Others believe Jesus will return as a just judge, but he will die after forty years and be buried in a spot beside Muhammad’s tomb in Medina that has been reserved for him.

The Imam al-Mahdi is the divinely guided one, and is a concept developed by the Shiis and some Sunnis into that of a messianic deliverer who will return to champion their cause.

What is clear, and was clear in Ahmadinejad’s speech, is that the Imam al-Mahdi will appear when the world is irretrievably corrupt. We are witnessing the signs of this time. His reign will result in a time of natural abundance, justice, restoration of faith and of defeat for the enemies of Islam.

Apart from the US representative remaining absent and the Canadian delegation walking out, the Israeli delegation was not present. The speech took place on Yom Kippur. Was this as a result of the UN organizers diplomacy, or did their fabled tolerance fail them by not selecting another date?

It is strange that George W. Bush was constantly attacked by the US media for using religion in his rhetoric and bringing America to the precipice of intolerance. Yet, here in New York this speech is not analyzed in the religious sense in which it was intended. What if Bush had made similar eschatological condemnations of the Islamic nations and world’s leaders in their face? What if a future President Mitt Romney were to outline a Mormon eschatology? Yes, violent demonstrations and flag-burning across the Islamic world.

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A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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Trunkline 2012: Saturday Political News in Review and Cinema Politico Movie of the Week for 10/8/11


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Brought to you by White house 2012 & Hulu.com, The Good Pope is a poignant retelling of the story of Pope John XXIII.  He was Pope for only 4 years, seven months and six days when he died of stomach cancer on the 3rd June 1963.  His lived during a period of profound change, and a time which produced some of the most significant events of the 20th Century and once he became Pope, he also  produced some of the most significant events in the contemporary history of the Catholic Church.

Bob Hoskins stars as The Good Pope.

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