Fire in the Sky
Part I: How the Iranian regime has taken over half the Middle East, and why.
In recent weeks, tensions between Israel and Iran have come to a head. At the time I’m writing this, I’m but few days removed from deadly missile exchange between the two nations that amounted to a battle. On the night of May 10th, 2018, in which Iran launched at least 20 missiles into the Golan Heights from within Syria, prompting an Israeli retaliation in which the IAF (Israeli Air Force) hit over 30 Iranian military sites throughout southern and central Syria. These targets have been set up in the last few years to support not only the Assad regime, but the Hezbollah terror apparatus in Lebanon as well.
While this attack looks like retribution for America leaving the Iran deal to most observers, and that very likely was part of the motivation for the attack, a decades-old conflict fueled by a religious ideology is at play right under the surface. We are witnessing a 38 year Cold War, fueled by an ideology that would drive the world to the brink of war in an attempt to bring about a variant of the Shia Islamic version of the Abrahamic end times. To understand the motivation behind the actions of the Iranian regime, you must understand its official Twelver Shia eschatology, according to the centuries old Twelver Shia religious tradition.
Twelver Shiism is a branch of Islam that broke off from what would become Sunni Islam very early in the history of the religion. According to tradition, the prophet Muhammad died in 632 CE without leaving an heir to lead the new Islamic faith. Two camps of thought soon emerged in the Islamic community. One group felt that Muhammad’s longtime companion and right-hand man, Abu Bakr, should lead the Islamic world and its burgeoning and rapidly expanding empire, soon to be known as the caliphate, while the Shia believed that Muhammad’s successor should be somebody related to him by blood. A faction wished to see Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, reign supreme over the Muslim world. After the assassination of Ali in 661 CE, this schism in Islam became permanent: “On January 24, 661, Ali ibn Abi Talib, simply known as Ali, was assassinated in the Great Mosque of Kufa, in what is now Iraq. Ali’s death would lead to a permanent schism in Islam, between the Sunni and Shia denominations. (”In the aftermath, Sunni schools of thought soon became dominant, and Sunni Caliphs over large swaths of expanding territory for centuries, while the majority of the smaller Shia sects were ruled by 12 imams, all of whom were said to have been related to The Prophet Muhammad by blood.
While many of these leaders were brutally killed by various Sunni forces, the designated twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, (or simply the Mahdi) disappeared at the age of only 5 years old. It is not known exactly what happened to him, as there are different stories among the Shia sects and communities as to why he disappeared, ranging from him tumbling into a well, or perhaps being hidden there by his mother, where he became invisible. In any case, all Twelver Shia agree that he only was never seen, and spoke through four messengers until 941 CE, when he would have been 72 years old. Today, it is a universal belief among Twelver Shia that the Mahdi is the Messiah, and that he will return at a time when the righteous (read Shia) Muslims of this world are in a state of suffering unlike anything that they had seen before: “The remaining three signs, which involve horrendous battles and massacres, will precede the Mahdi’s coming and subsequent triumph. (”Only at this time, will he appear, the Mahdi will then go to battle against the Islamic antichrist, or false messiah, also known as Dajjal.
According both Sunni and Shiite eschatology, tens of thousands of Jews will pledge their loyalty to Dajjal, whom, according to various Muslim traditions, will be of a Jewish background. According to both Sunni and Shia prophecy, all those to embrace Dajjal will die, as even the rocks and trees will call out to the righteous to kill the supporters of Dajjal. This is not to be confused with, but is certainly related to a Hadith (which are widely believed to be sayings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad) that is widely repeated by those in the Islamic world who wish for war with Israel.
The Hadith is as follows: “The Hour will not begin until you fight the Jews, until a Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him. (”After these events, Dajjal will be captured at the gate of the Israeli city of Lod. At this point, it is believed that the remaining nations of the Earth will be given the choice to convert to Shia Islam or die.
This is part I of a series collaboration with Alex. Part II will discuss the Iran regime’s history pushing this ideology and how we got to our current situation. Part III will dive into the west’s options and Part IV will shed light on Iran’s involvement in global terrorism.