As nearly every single character in the Star Wars universe says, “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is writing a letter to Pope Benedict, following an unprecedented letter to U.S. President George W. Bush earlier this month, a newspaper said on Thursday.
“President Ahmadinjad’s second letter is for Pope Benedict and will be sent in the next days,” Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper, which is close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, quoted unnamed sources as saying.
The newspaper gave no details of the letter’s content. Iranian officials were not available to comment.
In the first direct communication between the two countries’ presidents for more than two decades, Ahmadinejad wrote a long missive to Bush this month in which he questioned his commitment to Christian values and criticised U.S. foreign policy.
He also invited Bush to become a Muslim. And you would be wise to interpret the word “invite” to have a whiff of the mob inviting you to dinner at the end of a pier. Since al-Reuters doesn’t provide the context for these global pen pal missives, I will.
These letters are hardly unprecedented, as al-Reuters says. Their origins go all the way back to Mohammed, who often issued letters to the kings of lands he was about to attack to invite them to accept Islam before Mohammed would invade to convert them by the sword. Thus, the religion of peace spread far and wide. This, now second letter from the hand of Ahmadinejad is a da’wa–a call to Islam. It follows Mohammed’s traditional letters. Implicit in such letters is the threat that if the recipient doesn’t accept Islam voluntarily, he and his land will accept it by force. Or die resisting.
In Crazy Mahmoud’s mind, he has now written to the chief of the world’s top secular superpower and is writing to the chief of the world’s unbelieving (vis a vis Islam) religious superpower (there being no equivalent of the pope in Islam). He is inviting them both to accept Islam, both personally and on behalf of their nation and church. Unless I miss my guess, in the letter to Benedict he will be, in essence, calling upon the Catholic Church to accept Islam–or die.
These letters are not well-wishes for the holidays or get-to-know-you cultural exchanges. They are threats. Mahmoud has something planned, and it would seem to me to be in the latter stages of finalization before it goes forward.
Update (Allahpundit): Bryan beat me to the punch, so I’ll merely add that MEMRI has video of this tool ranting yesterday about “nuts and chocolates.” Click the image to watch. Kofi Annan, of all people, warned him afterwards to tone down the rhetoric, to which Ahmadinejad responded by accusing countries opposing Iran’s nuclear program of having mental problems.