Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I Think You Need A Bigger God

From an article in The Times (UK):
The followers of Moqtada al-Sadr believe that the US invaded Iraq to prevent the return to Earth of their sect’s messiah-like figure, the Mahdi, or 12th imam.

Hojatoleslam al-Sadr claims that his militia is preparing for the day when the Mahdi, the last direct descendent of the revered Shia figure Ali, reappears. Shia believe that the Mahdi, who disappeared in 868, will bring justice to Earth.

At a prayer service in the central Iraqi city of Kufa on September 15, the cleric told a crowd of thousands that the Americans were collecting a dossier on the Mahdi to prevent his return. “Did you ever ask yourself about why all of this, the bloodshed and the prisons? Why are the brothers fighting each other for a political game planned by the Americans? This all happened because they (the Americans) are waiting for the Mahdi. This planning started ten years ago. They have a big file for Imam Mahdi and they just need his picture to complete it.”

Hojatoleslam al-Sadr and his advisers are convinced that the Americans want to destroy Islam and stop the Mahdi. “The Americans are trying to hijack Islamic movements. They think that these are serving the Mahdi’s interests. Whatever they did in Afghanistan and Iraq are all attempts to hijack the Mahdi’s return.”

What kind of pathetic god do you worship, when the military activities of a nation-state can interfere with his ability to send the Messiah? “Dang! The Americans are too smart for me! Sorry, Mahdi, but you’re gonna have to wait a couple of hundred more years. I’ll provide you with some extra virgins so you won’t get bored in the meantime.”

My Messiah seems to have been able to show up on time, in a country under military occupation, with no running water, electricity, or National Health Care, under the dictatorial rule of a series of deranged, paranoid kings, and make His message heard despite the best efforts of a hostile religious hierarchy, a collaborationist government, the Roman Gestapo, and the direct intervention of the Evil One. And, just when they thought they were finally rid of Him, He shows up all over again! Now that’s a God!