Two of the most dangerous apocalyptic Muslim groups−that strongly believe in establishment of a global Islamic state and believe in annihilation of non-Muslim nations−are the Islamic State and the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
They both share the same fatal ideology and mission with some minor differences. They believe that this is the end of the times for non-Muslims, and that they should prepare the world for the coming of the Imam Mahdi (also known as Muhammad al Mahdi) who would establish Islamic rule around the world and clean up the planet from those who do not practice Islam.
Apocalyptic Muslims have long believed that the appearance of Mahdi would coincide with a civil war in the lands of sham [Syria], which will destroy the country. In addition, Iraq will be in engulfed with domestic militia wars. They also believe that other non-Muslims will become vulnerable to Muslims and Islamic rulers.
The Shiite clerics of Iran believe that Mahdi is the child of Muhammad, the “hidden Imam” and the twelfth Imam. They argue that Muhammad al Mahdi was born thousands of years ago and disappeared to reappear later when certain signs emerge. On the other hand, the apocalyptic Muslim leaders of the Islamic State believe that Mahdi has not yet been born but this is the time that he will appear in the world.
More importantly, anyone who rules the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic State (currently Khamenei and Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi) considers himself as the only true representative of Imam Mahdi on earth, as long as the Mahdi remains hidden. That is why Iran’s Supreme Leader, calls himself “Imam” of the “ummah” (the people), instead of calling himself the president or ruler of “Iran.” His predecessor, Rooh Allah Khomeini, did the same thing when he established the Islamic Republic.
Both sides take these critical beliefs and “divine guidance” from Muhammad’s statements that “at the end of the time of my ummah, the Mahdi will appear. Allah will grant him rain, the earth will bring forth its fruits, he will give a lot of money, cattle will increase and the ummah will become great … his name will be my name, and his father’s name my father’s name … Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before Doomsday, Allah will expand that day to such length of time as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahlul-Bayt [family of Muhammad] who will be called by my name. …”
In addition, Iran’s Supreme Leader strongly believes in the prophetic statement of Ja’far al-Sadiq, the sixth Imam of the Shiites.
When someone asked the sixth Imam “O son of the Messenger of God! Who is the Mahdi of your clan?”
He answered, “The Mahdi will conquer the world; at that time the world will be illuminated by the light of Allah, and everywhere in which those other than Allah are worshipped will become places where Allah is worshiped; and even if the polytheists do not wish it, the only faith on that day will be the religion of Allah.”
According to the Islamic Republic and the Islamic State, the first and second prophecies (civil war in Syria and Iraq) have already come true. The third one (vulnerability and weakness of non-Muslims) has also come true because of the capabilities of the Islamic State to inflict terror on non-Muslims and the recent nuclear agreement with Iran which proves the Western governments weakness in dealing with Iran. A deal that will empower Iran, ensure the hold on power of the Ayatollah, and put Iran on a certain path to nuclear bomb after the agreement ends.
For Khamenei, the appeasement policies of the West, and particularly the U.S. administration, are viewed as a sign that the non-Muslim nations are becoming weaker and that Muhammad’s “divine guidance” is coming true. The ayatollah does not view the lifting of sanctions on Iran as a “diplomacy” being triumphant, but rather reaffirming his religious belief in Allah and the Mahdi.
That is why this Islamist autocrat is escalating the anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric right after the sanctions were lifted. He gave an incendiary speech and wrote in a letter that there is a need to guard against the arrogant “Great Satan.”
While mainstream media often focuses on non-state Islamist groups, we need remain aware of the most dangerous form of radical Islam which comes from those Islamists who already have established a state and control territories: the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic State. The missions behind the leaders of these two Islamist regimes are more threatening to the U.S. and other non-Muslim nations than anything else.
Finally, the leaders of Iran and the Islamic State deeply believe that Allah and the Mahdi have appointed them to spread Islam across the world. They believe that anyone who is not following their religion is an apostate who is bringing “fesad” (or corruption on the earth). Subsequently, from their perspective, the killings of these “fossad” (or the “corruptors”) will bring Imam Mahdi to the world faster, grant them Allah’s blessings, and rid the world of impurity.
What the Obama administration and many Western leaders do not understand is that these apocalyptic Muslims will do anything−such as blowing themselves up−to accomplish Imam Muhammad al Mahdi’s mission. They see all the current signs as pointing to the victory of Islam, appearance of the “Mahdi,” and the imminent establishment of an Islamic State that will rule the world and implement Allah’s rules on everyone.