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Iran, Nukes & the end of the Iranian year

Posted By Sean Osborne On August 8, 2006 @ 8:36 am In Editorials,Iran,Israel,Sean Osborne | Comments Disabled

“Arrogant powers have set up a base for themselves to threaten and plunder nations in the region. But today, the occupier regime – that is, Israel – whose philosophy is based on threats, massacre and invasion, has reached its finishing line.”–Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

8 August 2006: The apocalyptic aspirations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to the developing situation in the Middle East.

Today, the Drudge Report is citing a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed column written by Princeton’s Bernard Lewis. Mr. Lewis describes the apocalyptic aspirations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as we and others have reported on as well.

Although Iran has been given until the end of August to halt uranium enrichment and other sensitive nuclear fuel work, Iranian President Ahmadinejhad has frequently stated that he would give his response (to the world) on August 22, 2006. Many wonder about the significance of that date, with some noting that it is the end of the Iranian year.

Meanwhile, Robert Spencer, a very well respected author and terrorism expert, cited the President of the Reform Party of Syria who offered a different perspective in his article dated July 27, 2006 [1]:

According to Mr. Spencer, Farid Ghadry, the president of the Reform Party of Syria, has offered a provocative explanation for the initially self-imposed delay until August 22, 2006 by the Iranian President. Ghadry asserts that the Supreme National Security Council of Iran chose the August 22 date “for a very precise reason. August 21, 2006 (Rajab 27, 1427) is known in the Islamic calendar as the Night of the Sira’a and Miira’aj, the night Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a Bourak (Half animal, half man), while a great light lit-up the night sky, and visited Heaven and Hell also Beit al-Saada and Beit al-Shaqaa (House of Happiness and House of Misery) and then descended back to Mecca.…”

Excerpted from an article writtn by Mr. Robert Spencer:

The Night Journey, or Miraj, is central to Islam’s claim to Jerusalem as an Islamic holy city. According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad was carried on a Buraq, a miraculous horse with a human head, from Mecca to Jerusalem, where he ascended into heaven and met the other prophets. The only thing the Qur’an has to say about it is this: “Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)” (17:1). There is no identification of the “farthest Mosque” with any mosque in Jerusalem in this, but the Hadith is very clear on the identification of its location with Jerusalem.

The traditions say that Muhammad and the Buraq, along with the angel Gabriel, went to the Temple Mount, and from there to heaven itself, where Muhammad encountered various prophets. In the sixth heaven was Moses, occasioning a dig at the Jews. “When I left him,” Muhammad says, “he wept. Someone asked him, ‘What makes you weep?’ Moses said, ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (Muhammad as a Prophet) a young man, whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’”

Evidently, however, Muhammad’s stories of his journey were not altogether convincing: even some of the Muslims abandoned their faith and challenged Muhammad’s most faithful follower, Abu Bakr, to do the same. Abu Bakr was contemptuous: “If he says so then it is true. And what is so surprising in that? He tells me that communications from God from heaven to earth come to him in an hour of a day or night and I believe him, and that is more extraordinary than that at which you boggle!” The world has continued to witness such unshakable devotion from Muslims to this day.

Did Muhammad really go anywhere? According to his favorite wife, Aisha, he did not: “The apostle’s body remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night.” Nevertheless, the Night Journey has become firmly embedded in the Islamic consciousness, such that Muslims today celebrate it as one of the central events of Muhammad’s life. And now, according to Ghadry, Ahmadinejad is planning an illumination of the night sky over Jerusalem to rival the one that greeted the Prophet of Islam on his journey. What the Iranian President, he says, is “promising the world by August 22 is the light in the sky over the Aqsa Mosque that took place the night before. That is his answer to the package of incentives the international community offered Iran on June 6.”

Certainly a nuclear attack on Jerusalem or even an all-out conventional assault against Israel by Iran would be consistent with Ahmadinejad’s oft-repeated denials of Israel’s right to exist and recent predictions that its demise was at hand. He hinted at the use of nuclear weapons in his phrasing when he said that Israel “pushed the button of its own destruction” by finally retaliating against Hezbollah’s relentless rocket barrage from south Lebanon.

“Arrogant powers,” Ahmadinejad said, “have set up a base for themselves to threaten and plunder nations in the region. But today, the occupier regime” – that is, Israel – “whose philosophy is based on threats, massacre and invasion, has reached its finishing line.”

Will he attempt to make good on these threats this year on the anniversary of the Miraj, illuminating the night sky over Jerusalem? Will Western powers heed Farid Ghadry’s words and move to stop Iran before it is too late?

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[1] in his article dated July 27, 2006: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=23533

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