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Iranians pray to revered saint to rid world of 'lunatic' Bush

Iranians pray to revered saint to rid world of 'lunatic' Bush

Shiite Muslim pilgrims wept, applauded and handed out sweets Wednesday to mark the birthday of Mahdi, a revered 9th century saint known as the Hidden Iman who they believe will reappear before judgment day to end tyranny and promote justice.
Tens of thousands rushed into this holy city, traveling in public buses, private cars and some on foot from outlying regions to celebrate one of the biggest religious festivals in the world's largest Shiite country.
Celebrations have become more colorful in the past two years in view of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declared devotion to Mahdi, the messiah-like figure of Shiite Islam.
Many families made the trip to Qom, 130 kilometers south of the capital Tehran, to visit the Jamkaran Mosque, a holy place Shiites believe Mahdi will pass to spread justice across the globe.
Some of the pilgrims here prayed for the reappearance of Mahdi hoping he would put an end to what they consider the symbol of tyranny in the modern world, U.S. President George W. Bush's administration.
"Oh God, hasten the reappearance of dear Mahdi and save the globe from tyranny," said a speaker at the mosque, drawing the chants of "God may hasten his reappearance."
Shiites, an overwhelming majority in Iran, make up 15 percent of more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.
As the son of the 11th Shiite iman, Hasan al-Askari, Mahdi is said to have disappeared in the 9th century. Shiites believe he is still alive and will one day return as a savior of mankind, to create a divine global government based on justice.
Ali Hosseini, one of the pilgrims at Jamkaran Mosque, kneeled down and prayed that God will get rid of the Bush administration.
"Bush is the symbol of hatred and tyranny in this world. May God hasten the reappearance of Mahdi so that he will put an end to Bush's era of war and hatred," he said.
Hosseini said the Bush administration was spending billions of U.S. dollars each year on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but people in the Middle East would love America if it spent even US$10 billion building roads, schools and hospitals in the region.
"Bush is a lunatic who spends money to promote death, destruction and war. The U.S. will win the hearts of people around the world if it helps promote friendship, something it doesn't," he said. Several pilgrims listening to him nodded in agreement.


Updated : 2021-04-22 23:09 GMT+08:00