There are so many reasons to investigate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from the killing of protesters to the support of terrorism to the backing of countries like Syria in crushing its own citizens. Iranian legislators, however, have accused Ahmadinejad’s aides of working with genies. Various aides have been arrested this month for magic and calling forth gjinns or spirits, including chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.
It is all part of the religious based lunancy of the Iranian system. One of the men, Abbas Ghaffari, is described as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds.” Sounds like Shirley MacLaine.
Conservatives are not pursuing Ahmadinejad over any of his various crimes against the people of Iran or other countries. Those are just fine. It was his disobedience of country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, over an appointment, which conservatives view as the equivalent to “apostasy from God.” It is only the latest example of the dangers of the entanglement of church (or in this case, Mosque) and state.
For his part, Ahmadinejad is obsessed with the Hidden Imam Mahdi – the revered saviour of Shia Islam, who reportedly fell down a well as a kid. Ahmadinejad has widened boulevards and based policies on the return of the Mahdi. He believes that the 12th Imam, also called the sahib-e zaman (“the Ruler of Time”), lives at the bottom of a well in Jamkaran, just outside of Qom. Like other Muslims, Ahmadinejad writes down notes and throws them down a well for the Mahdi to read. He heads a major nation and presumed nuclear power. He has added a wonderful element of paranoia to his lunacy by recently accusing the United States of trying to prevent the return of the Mahdi.
Conservatives have struck back at Ahmadinejad — not by disclaiming the fact that the boy Imam in the well will emerge and lead Iran. Rather, they disagree with Ahmadinejad’s claim that he is already supporting many of his policies. Leading cleric Gholam-reza Mesbahi Moghadam objected “If, God forbid, Ahmadinejad means that Imam Zaman supports the government’s actions, this is wrong. Certainly Imam Zaman would not accept 20 percent inflation rates, nor would he support it or many other mistakes that exist in the country today,.” Yes, that’s the problem. The hidden Imam would not support 20 percent inflation. Water sanitation and development infrastructure subsidies, yes. But not inflation.
There is a deep-seated belief in genies in the Middle East, including one court that actually called a genie to the stand. It is not unknown for people to be still prosecuted for sorcery in the Middle East.
For my own part, I was obsessed with Barbara Eden for much of my early pubescent years.