I am intrigued by the related traditions among several major religions regarding hidden holy men who will one day be revealed or return. We have Elijah from the Old Testament, the Three Nephites of the Book of Mormon, the Hidden Imam of the Shi’a Islam faith, and, in a special category, Christ himself of the New Testament. Add to the list the Apostle John, whom later day Saints believe was “translated” like the three Nephites to allow him to live and operate for special purposes on the earth until the Savior returns, and Enoch, who was taken with his city to return one day with his New Jerusalem.
All of these mystical figures are hidden from us, and all will help God achieve his purposes that will eventually bring about a glorious new world, typically after great tribulation.
The Hidden Imam is particularly critical these days. He’s in the news – or should be – given that the President of Iran seems to have a mission to help bring about his return, and has encouraged a popular association of himself with one of the “nails” (special servants) of the Hidden Imam who will help prepare the world for his return, a glorious event that will bring peace to the world and convert everyone to Islam.
Unfortunately, the crazed leaders of Iran might be thinking that the path for the return of the Hidden Imam requires plunging the world into apocalyptic chaos. “The frightening truth of why Iran wants a bomb” by Amir Taheri, former Executive Editor of Iran’s largest newspaper, offers a perspective wildly out of line with the popular American view that we can work things out with Iran by just sitting down and negotiating. A financial journal focused on energy issues also raises much the same point, in even more frightening terms. But the media seems pretty silent on the real threat we may be facing, especially now that Iran has shocked the world by announcing that they are processing nuclear materials sufficient for 20 or so nuclear bombs.
Any illusion about Iran’s leaders being sensible people ready to bargain for peace and for the well-being of their people can be dismissed when we recall what they have already shown with the Basij movement, millions of people trained to be martyrs, indoctrinated like the Hitler Youth or the Red Brigade to live for the State, with the added risk of being much more willing to die for martyrdom. In the Iran-Iraq war, thousands of Basij children were sent out into minefields to become human mine detectors, assured of instant paradise. Human waves of Basij youth were sent against fortified Iraqi positions, where there corpses would pile up as they youth kept coming. Steve Christ offers this chilling perspective:
Founded at the birth of the new Iranian regime begun by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, the Basij shook the world during the Iran-Iraq war as they marched themselves in human wave attacks against the enemy. Not unlike the infamous Nazi Youth, these brainwashed brigades, made up mostly of children, walked into minefields and certain death at the hands of Iraqi gunners, armed only with plastic keys and the promise of paradise after their deaths.
“They come at our positions in huge hordes with their fists swinging,” an Iraqi officer remarked in 1982. “You can shoot down the first wave and then the second. But at some point the corpses are piling up in front of you and all you want to do is scream and throw away your weapon.”
Out of this fanatical carnage, the Basij emerged as national heroes and spurred a growing movement that embraced the cult of self destruction (“martyrdom”) as a way to promote their religious agenda.
In today’s Iran, these Basij have appeared in nearly every level of society. And like Hitler’s Brownshirts before them, they violently snuff out any dissent without fear of retribution. Even more troubling is their numbers. At present they are some nine million strong, making up nearly 12% of the population.
Among them is none other than the president of Iran himself. In fact, he and routinely praises the Basij culture, which has enjoyed a renaissance during his reign, growing in both power and influence.
It is into these dangerous and demented hands that Iran’s nuclear weapons will someday fall-endangering not just the U.S. and Israel, but the entire modern world.
Frankly, I miss the days when Israel dared to take pre-emptive actions when Middle Eastern neighbors were developing nuclear threats. I fear that our pressure on them to “get along” and give in to the US State Department’s treacherous mentality has only made the Middle East all the more dangerous – and not just for Israel, but for the whole world.
If ever there was a time for the Three Nephites and John and maybe even Enoch to step in and help out, this may be it. And if there is a Hidden Imam out there, I hope he’ll come out and call off Iran’s crazy plans.