Glenn Beck interviewed me Tuesday afternoon on Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s End Times theology and how it is driving Iranian foreign policy.
Here’s the transcript:
GLENN BECK, Fox News Channel: OK. I want to talk to you about something that nobody seems to ever notice when they talk about Iran. When we’re talking about Iran, we’re talking about people, the leaders that are called — they’re called 12ers. They believe in the 12th imam, the Mahdi. This is one spooky dude. Twelvers are so dangerous that the Ayatollah Khomeini banned them and said we got to kill `em all because they’re crazy, the Ayatollah Khomeini said that. Now, everybody has been talking about how Iran launched its most advanced missiles earlier this week, but here is what you should be paying attention to. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, he says this at the end of all of his major speeches, including last Wednesday at the U.N., he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (through translator): Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, and peace and blessings upon our masters and prophet Mohammed and his pure household and his noble companions. O, God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory, and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: OK, hasten the return of the 12th imam, the Mahdi. That’s not a good idea.
Joel Rosenberg, the producer of the “Inside The Revolution documentary film based on the best-selling book of the same name. Joel, it’s not a good idea to hasten the return of the promised one, because the promised one only comes after the world is washed in blood, right?
JOEL ROSENBERG, PRODUCER, “INSIDE THE REVOLUTION”: That’s right. As I describe in the documentary film, and in the book, “Inside the Revolution,” this is a serious theological argument made by Shia Muslims — not all of them…
ROSENBERG: . but certainly by Ahmadinejad, that you need to bring chaos, carnage and even genocide into which the Islamic messiah comes and establishes justice and peace.
BECK: So, if I can explain this — and correct me if I’m wrong. If I can explain this — if you’re a Christian and you believe in the end times, you know all the tribulation that’s going to suck beyond belief for a long time and then Jesus comes. It would be like a Christian saying, “Hey, let’s make it suck really hard right now, because then Jesus will come.” Not a good idea, but that’s the Mahdi — oh, I’m sorry — that’s what Ahmadinejad believes: hasten the return. Let’s just make it as bloody as we can. So when he says, “Oh, Israel, you’re going to be vaporized,” he believes that he is going to be fulfilling prophecy and it’s going to be good for the Islamic world if he does that, right?
ROSENBERG: That’s right. In Ahmadinejad’s twisted world, he believes essentially he is the John the Baptist for the coming of the messiah. But you’re right — in this case, to bring the messiah requires launching genocidal wars against the Judeo-Christian world.
ROSENBERG: And destroy the Judeo-Christian world, and this is why he is using the word “annihilate,” He’s saying annihilate the United States and Israel.
BECK: OK. The 12ers believe that — and you hear this all the time – - that the United States is the anti-Christ, and the little anti-Christ is Israel. That’s because we believe the anti-Christ is a person. They believe the anti-Christ is a force, right?
ROSENBERG: Many Muslims do.
ROSENBERG: There is some division on that.
BECK: I’m talking about the 12ers, specifically about the 12ers.
ROSENBERG: You know, the great Satan.
BECK: OK. So, the Mahdi, when he comes crawling out of the well, he is supposed to create a global government. He persecutes the Christians and he has them either submit or he cuts their heads off, right?
BECK: OK. That sounds like fun.
ROSENBERG: Yes. In fact, what’s more, the Islamic messiah is supposed to come with Jesus.
ROSENBERG: Jesus is the deputy, the lieutenant, and forces people to convert or die.
BECK: Well, yes, he’ll testify to the Mahdi and he’ll say, “Hey, by the way, you guys misunderstood. I’m not the son of God. This is the man right here.” Correct?
BECK: OK. They seem to me to be a lot like end times prophecy, war, rumors of war, signs of natural wonders, et cetera, et cetera. It seems like the same thing that plays out in the Book of Revelations. Are they connected at all, at least in the minds of the 12ers?
ROSENBERG: It’s a mirror image. So, there is a lot of similarities, to be sure, but, of course, the difference is that Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 24, Verse 14, that this good news — that God loves you and will accept you and forgive you and save you — this good news must be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end shall come. So, followers of Jesus Christ think they’re supposed to bring good news and peace and the messages of salvation through the cross before Jesus comes.
ROSENBERG: But the 12ers believe you bring death, destruction and horror, and then the end shall come.
BECK: OK. So, the Ayatollah Khomeini and the revolution of ’79, he said these 12ers are too crazy for even him. What happened, because — is Ahmadinejad the only one? Are there a lot of them? It’s my understanding that the government now is full of these people. Is that true?
ROSENBERG: That’s right. Well, the Ayatollah Khamenei, the current supreme leader, was a disciple of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
ROSENBERG: Apparently, it’s turned out that he has been a secret closet 12er, because he clearly believes the same thing as Ahmadinejad. Why do we know this? There’s been a lot of statements by Khamenei, but the key is, this rigged election.
ROSENBERG: . Khamenei could have gotten rid of Ahmadinejad if he wanted to. He has pulled back on several key issues over the years, but on this issue, end times theology.
BECK: He doesn’t.
ROSENBERG: . he’s given him free rein.
ROSENBERG: And now, a new term.
BECK: All right. So, I want to make this clear. I’m not saying these things are true. What I’m saying is, our government — they only seem to take the violence from these crazy Christians, you know, and people at tea parties, they take that deadly serious. But they don’t think that people like Ahmadinejad believe in this stuff. It’s important, if you’re even going to negotiate — maybe they’re bluffing, maybe they don’t — but it’s important that you understand this, and I don’t think our government, I don’t think Bush understood it, and I don’t think Barack Obama understands it. Agree or disagree?
ROSENBERG: I agree with that, and that’s the problem is that Ahmadinejad in that U.N. speech last week was more explicit about his end- times theology than any other time in the last five years that he has been giving these speeches.
BECK: What did he say? What did he say?
BECK: He actually gave several paragraphs of describing something called entezar. That’s a Shia Islamic eschatology notion of having the patience to wait for the coming of the messiah, and he went on at length on this.
Moreover, on an NBC News interview on Sunday Ann Curry did, it was broadcast on an alternate network, but she actually asked him, Ahmadinejad, about this, and he said that he’s in direct communications with this Islamic messiah. That’s the first time that I have heard in these last five years, him go on the record in this case with an American reporter, though NBC did not actually report the story, but they did broadcast it, but to say that he is in direct communication with this mystical Islamic messiah, that’s why this is important.
ROSENBERG: Islamic eschatology, end times theology is driving Iranian foreign policy, and the White House, members of Congress, certainly the U.N. are not paying attention.
ROSENBERG: . to this urgency that they have to bring about the end of days.
BECK: All right. Joel, thank you very much. We’ll talk again. I have to tell you, when I was over at another network, I remember watching this at the U.N., and hearing that, and hearing the translation just a few years ago, and I went who’s the promised one and why should we hasten him? We did our research, and it’s — it’s frightening if these people believe it. If they don’t, we sure should learn what they do know and what they don’t know and what they believe and what they don’t, because it would change the way we sit down at the table with them. A very dangerous situation in the Middle East.