The Mahdi Replies
And they are right to blame you. Your letter puts the blame on the satanic foreign infidels, with their tricky lies and their diabolical “velvet revolution.” But they are not the cause of the rage against you. They have not caused the near-epidemics of drug addiction and prostitution, the rage from unpaid workers, the anger of women whose value has been officially reduced to half a man’s. You did that.
You did a lot of that in my name, as a matter of fact, which doesn’t go down well here at the bottom of my well. You want to use an ‘iron hand’ to establish an order favorable to you, but I am all about chaos and confusion, out of which I will bring an order sanctioned by the Almighty, blessings be upon him. You talk about a “Basij philosophy.” What in the world is that?
Do you really believe that I am going to forgive you for the slaughter of my people? Am I supposed to help you slaughter even more? Is that what “Basij philosophy” means?
The End of Days, when I return to lead the glorious jihad against the infidels, will come about when the faithful are inspired to follow me, not beaten into passive submission by brutal self-proclaimed advocates of an undefined doctrine that justifies cruelty to my people. Are you building an army of tortured and broken followers? Are those the warriors you will deliver to my banner? If so, the infidels will have an easy time of it, I fear.
At the moment, dear Hassan, as you have well described it, the faithful seem to be of quite a different spirit. They want to be free to pursue the dictates of their own minds and inner moral instincts. If you want my help, you should do everything possible to help them fulfill this admirable desire.
We can continue this chat if you wish. As you see, I do not wait three decades to share my thoughts.
The Lord of Time
P.S. How did you get my email address? That is truly a profound mystery.