For the last several months I’ve been a thespian trapped in a man’s body–playing the rogue, Shakespeare-imitating highwayman named Robert Middleton in a local community theater production of the Bard-era comedy Thee & Thou. Now that that’s over, and I’m on spring break from university teaching this week, ’tis time to get back into the blogging saddle–with a devil’s brew of Islamic topics from the first quarter of 2019.
Back in January, the Turkish government began cracking down on a man claiming to be the Mahdi: Iskender Evrenesoğlu. (But he got off easy, compared to the two other major self-styled Turkish messianic leaders: Fethullah Gülen, who long ago had to flee the country, and Adnan Oktar, who has recently been arrested.)
Pictured: Not Evrenesoğlu but Sultan Suleyman I (from Wiki’s open source entry on Ottoman sultans)–but he does sport a similar turban, almost as large as Uranus, which you can see here.
As I observed on this site last year, President Recep Erdoğan–who is vying for the leadership of the entire Sunni world–loathes these pretenders to the throne of Islam; and well he should since, as one of Erdoğan’s staunchest defenders said just a few days ago, “Erdoğan has earned the title of Caliph.”
Where does this leave the only overt caliph in the world today–ISIS’ Ibrahim al-Baghdadi? Out in the cold–and not just as far as the Turks are concerned, either: last month reports surfaced of discontented jihadists trying to stage a coup against their self-styled leader. Maybe President Trump’s tweets–but more likely his unleashing of the US military–had something to do with the decapitating caliph’s demise. So if al-Baghdadi is not dead yet…he soon will be.
Meanwhile, over in the fantasy land part of the Islamic world–the Islamic Republic of Iran–a senior ayatollah recently reminded us infidel Great Satanists that “until we turn the White House into a Hussainiya [Shi`ite Islamic center], we will continue to shout ‘Death to America’,” after which “the one global and just rule of the Mahdi will be established.” (And in case you’d forgotten: the 12th Imam al-Mahdi will arrive in a spaceship, and institute sex romps in which his followers will be allowed to carouse with numerous infidel slave girls. Who won’t want to party with the unHidden Imam?!)
This being Ash Wednesday, as a Christian I must state that my answer to Chief Wiggum’s question is: nowhere in Islam–but in the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ of the New Testament.
The true Messiah: Christ from the upper level of Hagia Sophia Church (Haya Sofya Mosque), Constantinople (Istanbul)–from my 2008 trip there.