Islam in Iran: Claiming to Be the Madhi

Jamkaran MosqueThe print edition of The Economist for April 27 features a story on the number of men in Iran who have been arrested, claiming “to be the Mahdi, a sacred figure of Shia Islam, who was ‘hidden’ by God just over a millennium ago and will return some time to conquer evil on earth.” The men were called “deviants,” “fortune tellers,” and “petty criminals” as they collected alms from Iranians in the courtyard of the mosque in Jamkaran.

Read the full story here.

The mosque in Jamkaran has been popularized by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “the place of the awaited Mahdi’s advent,” says The Economist. The story reports that the president gave $10 million to the mosque when he took office in 2005 and has called his administration “the government of the hidden imam.”

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