The apocalyptic dimensions of Muqtada Sadr's movement
don't get enough coverage in the U.S.:
"In a worrisome sign that Muqtada al-Sadr has gone deep into an apocalyptic sense of the end of the world [Ar.], al-Zaman reports that the young nationalist Shiite cleric maintained that the US Department of Defense has compiled an enormous file on the hidden Twelfth Imam, that is virtually complete save that it lacks his photograph.
["For Shiite Muslims, the Twelfth Imam or Imam Mahdi is a little like Jesus Christ for evangelical Christians. Shiites believe that the Imam was translated by God into a supernatural realm, from which he secretly rules the world and from which he will one day return to restore the world to justice.]
"Al-Sadr said during his Friday prayer sermon in Kufa that 'The United States has been preparing for ten years a rapid reaction force against the awaited Imam Mahdi and the US provoked the Gulf War so as to fill the region with military outposts for this purpose.'"