Video: Al-Qaida is army of the Mahdi

Joel Richardon: WND: An al-Qaida video just released on YouTube titled “The Mahdi Army” reveals for the first time the deep degree to which al-Qaida views itself to be the prophesied apocalyptic Mahdi army. While this is something I and other observers of Islamic apocalyptic movements have been very suspicious of for years, this video offers the first solid proof that al-Qaida is guided by the end-time apocalyptic prophecies of Islam.

The video is a typical al-Qaida recruitment video released under the al-Sahab label, replete with ninja-esque Islamic mujahedeen soldiers flaunting their military skills. What is new, however, is the multiple references to the Islamic end-time prophecies with al-Qaida featured as the frontline soldiers of the Mahdi.

The video begins with a subtitle of several Islamic sacred traditions called “hadith.” One of the first hadiths states that in the last days an army of Islamic soldiers will come from the area of “Khorasan” and will march forth to Jerusalem to conquer the land of Israel for the Islamic Mahdi. Khorasan straddles the border of Iran and Afghanistan where al-Qaida is presently still very active.

Featured prominently throughout the film is the imagery and motif of black flags. The black flag of Islam is the symbol of Islamic rule, the government of the Caliphate. Across its face is the Islamic “shahada,” or creed, which states, “There is no god other than Allah, and Muhammad is his final Prophet.” According to Islamic “theology,” the black flag is the flag of war that was carried by Muhammad. This black flag features prominently in most al-Qaida videos and can also be seen carried and waved by literally hundreds of thousands of attendees at the massive yearly Caliphate conferences sponsored by the Islamist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. The first Hizb-ut-Tahrir conference in the United States was recently held on July 23, just outside of Chicago. Dr. Timothy Furnish, author of “Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, their Jihads and Osama bin Laden,” attended the conference and wrote about his observations in an article featured in the Washington Times.

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Throughout the video, we see dramatized scenes of al-Qaida mujahedeen soldiers on horseback carrying the black flag as if they are marching to Israel.

According to Islamic sacred tradition, when any Muslim sees the Islamic armies carrying the black flags from Khorasan toward Israel, they are religiously obligated to pledge their allegiance to the army and its leader. This pledge is called the bay’ah. Then the words appear: “That army has already arisen and answered the call to defend Islam.”

A Muslim preacher named Imran Hussein Nazir appears giving a sermon in which he states the following:

The Messiah will destroy the false Messiah. And when that happens, then a Muslim army will liberate the Holy Land. The prophet said, “When you see the black flags coming from the direction of Khorasan, go join their army. That army has already started to be established. They know it. And that is why they demonize as a terrorist anyone who supports Allah. That army will liberate every single territory in a straight line, until it reaches Jerusalem. And the heart of Khorasan is Afghanistan. That is why we have occupied Afghanistan. When this army liberates every territory on its way to Jerusalem, there will be in that army, Imam Mahdi. And so the liberation of the Holy Land is not going to come about through any negotiations. Ţ

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Ever since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his now-infamous speech at the United Nations in New York City in 2005, and prayed for the coming of the Mahdi, many in the Western media have inaccurately believed that Mahdism is a belief unique only to Shi’a Islam. But as this video clearly demonstrates, and as I show in my new book, “The Islamic Antichrist,” as well as in “God’s War on Terror,” which I co-authored with Walid Shoebat, belief in the Mahdi is not at all unique to the Shi’a, but is held by a majority of Muslims across sectarian boundaries. While some variances exist between the Shi’a and the Sunni beliefs about origins of the Mahdi, what he does once he comes is essentially the same. And as I demonstrate in “Islamic Antichrist,” the mission of the Islamic Mahdi is virtually identical to the biblical Antichrist. According to Islamic belief, the Mahdi will revive an empire and will invade the land of Israel. He will cause the whole world to become Muslim and unite under one religion. Islamic tradition holds that the Mahdi will conquer Israel and establish his seat of world rule from Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. Islamic tradition also holds that the period of time the Mahdi would rule is seven years. After looking at the striking similarities between these two apocalyptic figures, some have rightly pointed out that Islam borrowed heavily from Christian, as well as Gnostic, Jewish and Zoroastrian traditions. However, what is not discussed is that in the Islamic narrative, that which is evil has been transformed into the Savior. Instead of saving the Jewish people, the Islamic Mahdi conquers the Jewish people. Instead of delivering the Jewish state from invasion, the Islamic Mahdi is the invader.

The revelation that al-Qaida is so strikingly apocalyptic in their worldview is a powerfully relevant factor, whether one is a believer in the Bible or not. As Dr. David Cook of Rice University once rightly stated, “There is power in apocalyptic.” Much attention has been paid to the apocalyptic vision of the Iranians, but now it is clear that the problem is far more endemic than we had previously known. Believer or unbeliever, skeptical or not, none can deny that we live in desperate and very interesting times.

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