[ by Charles Cameron — an Ahmadinejad revival, and if so a reference to note? ]
It could be no more than an artifact of translation, but there’s a phrase in this account of a possible Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comeback that catches my attention:
“God willing, victory and a very bright future awaits us. However, there will be bumps and satanic obstacles in our path,” the diminutive former leader, sporting his trademark close-cropped beard and sports coat, told some 400 supporters in Tehran. “One should not forget that the U.S. is our enemy.”
It’s those two words, bright future, that caught my attention.
I’m reminded of the Bright Future Institute in Qom:
The Bright Future Institute was established in early 2004 by a number of scholars and masters of Islamic seminaries in the holy city of Qom with a view to develop the culture of Intizaror Awaiting Imam Mahdi a.s and to increase the knowledge about him both in iranand abroad by supporting research and cultural works of other scholars. this institute is a non-profit making, independent research centre which promotes efforts to reject wrong ideas about imam Mahdi by holding discussion sessions and also by preparing scientific answers to respond to superstitions surrounding him.
Scott Peterson, in his book Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran, A Journey Behind the Headlines, explains (p. 307):
Launched in 2004, the Bright Future Institute in Qom was the eighth of its kind in Iran designed to study and even speed the Mahdi’s return. It quickly became the largest and most influential. “People are anxious to know: When and how will he rise? And what must they do in order to receive this worldwide salvation?” explained Ali Lari, a keen-eyed cleric at the Bright Future Institute. “The timing is not clear, but the conditions are more specific. There is a saying: ‘Whenever the students are ready, the teacher will come.’”
A Mahdist think tank! This is the outfit that Tim Furnish visited for one of their earler Mahdism conferences.
Back to the possible Ahmadinejad revival. I don’t know that it will amount to anything, and my guess would not be worth much in any case — but if the ex-President does in fact manage a revival, and if that translated phrase wasn’t in fact just an artifact of translation, then “God willing, victory and a very bright future awaits us” is a Mahdist reference, and wpould be quite clearly such to Ahmadinejad’s supporters.
Not too surprising, but worth this brief note, I think.