Iran trying to use birthday of Imam Mahdi to rally support
Shiites believe that Imam Mahdi, the 12th imam in a direct bloodline from the Prophet Muhammad, is alive but has remained invisible since the late ninth century, and that he will reappear only when corruption and injustice reach their zenith. This year, in keeping with the government effort to promote and enforce religious values under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the celebration [of the Mahdi's birthday] is receiving plenty of attention from the state, even to the point of being extended an extra day.
In any society, religion and culture are essential components of national identity, each contributing to the society’s bedrock principles. Throughout Iranian history, Islamic faith and Persian culture have been intimately merged. Yet, successive leaders have tried to promote one or the other in a constant competition for the national soul, usually with the goal of buttressing their own authority. Each effort, however, has ultimately fallen short.
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DeWayne Edward Benson - 8/31/2007
This article said from the New York Times (about President Mahoud Ahamdinejad) is pure fabrication typical of US-Media propaganda.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran, however the religious clergy handle their religious affairs.
This is simply another fabrication such as this Iran President wanting "Israel wiped off the map." The President did not say anything of the sort, it is taken from a report by Iran media. It in fact was a quote by the President of former khomeini who said "the Zionist regime needed to end", as example mentioning the Saddam regime and Russian regime.
Treat (everything) you hear or read in Western Media or the US-Gov as pure propaganda (aka lies), as far from the truth as anyone can get, and you will be much better off.