July 28, 2010
After the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad there have been rumours about the role of an ‘underground religious sect’ in the government. Ahmadinejad and some of his cabinet members have been accused of being secret members of Hojjatieh Society which is famous for its messianic ideas.
Hojjatieh Society is a Shia sect, founded in Tehran in 1953 by Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi. The organization was founded to fight against another newly established Shia sect, Baha’i faith. Hojjatieh members share this idea with other Shiite Muslims that the Mahdi (the 12th Imam) will return and will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. But they believe to hasten the return of the Mahdi, they should quicken the coming of the apocalypse by creating chaos and disorder.
Hashemi Rafsanjani writes in his memoir that during the Shah Regime, Hojjatieh members were reluctant to fight alongside Khomeini supporters. They believed there is no point in creating a revolution and an Islamic Republic without the Mahdi as its leader.
After the Revolution Hojjatieh members were not allowed to participate in the political scene. They offered Khomeini to cooperate in building the country with their ‘educated young people’ but Khomeini rejected the offer. Khomeini was against Hojjatieh since they rejected his doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist). Hojjatiya Society was forced to dissolve after Ayatollah Khomeini speech on 12 August 1983.
In last 5 years both conservative and reformist politicians have warned that neo-Hojjatieh is reemerging in the corridors of power in Tehran. Two days ago while Iranians were celebrating the birthday of Imam Mahdi, Resalat newspaper wrote “due to tolerance of the intelligence service with Hojjatieh in recent years, some of the active members of this sect are now asking the legal authorization for their activities.”
One of the very first politicians who warned from Hojjatieh influence in Ahmadinejad administration was Ahmad Tavassoli, a former chief of staff of Khomeini. He claimed in 2005 that “the executive branch of the Iranian government as well as the Revolutionary Guards have been hijacked by the Hojjatieh.”
In September 2005 Mohammad Khatami, the former reformist president of Iran said in Mashad “Those who regarded the revolution, during Imam Khomeini’s time, as a deviation, are now [wielding] the tools of terror and oppression.” Khatami did not name Hojjatieh in his speech but he referred to them as The “shallow-thinking traditionalists with their Stone-Age backwardness” that now have a powerful organization behind them.
A week before the presidential election in June 2009, Hadi Khamenei, the reformist brother of the Supreme leader said unfortunately most of the media are in hands of Hojjatieh supporters and they are propagandizing their ideas about Islam in the society. He said Hojjatieh are using soft war techniques to establish their power.
After the election, Ali Akbar Mohtashemipour, Memebr of the Rohanioun Mobarez Party, claimed Hojjatieh was behind what happened after the election and the way people were treated. He said the fact that this sect is not popular in the society does not mean it is dangerous.
Mohtashemipour said Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is a member of Hojjatieh and warned from the political influence of this group in the regime. There have been other reports suggesting Mesbah Yazdi is the highest ranking member of the Hojjatieh. Mesbah Yazdi has denied this accusation. He says if anyone finds a connection between him and Hojjatieh, he will denounce everything he stands for.
The current president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also rumored to be an advocate of Hojjatieh through the influence of Mesbah Yazdi, his spiritual mentor.Ateghe Sedighi, widow of Ali Rajae (2nd president of Iran) warned for Hojjatieh affiliated people in the Ahmadinejad’s administrations. Ahmadinejad has publicly denied any connection to this sect. Ahmadinejad refers to the return of Mehdi almost in all his speeches, even the one he delivered in UN Assembly. Ahmadinejad says he has evidence that US is trying to stop the return of the Mahdi and that is one of the main reasons they invaded Iraq because they knew Shiite’s promised savior will raised from Mesopotamia.