I’ve been reflecting on the report that Iran is passing a law requiring non-Muslims to badge themselves. If the report is accurate, it’s a totally insane move that is so outrageous that even the United Nations may sit up and take notice. Why does ol’ Persia continue to act so irrationally?
Let me toss out something that occurred to me during a discussion some time back but I don’t think I ever mentioned on MO:
Many theorize that the attack on the West by Islamic terrorists is an attempt to spark an all-out West vs. Islam war in which all of the Muslim world will flock to the banner of extreme fundamentalism in the face of the infidel threat, and Murdoc can buy that to at least some extent.
But the increasingly-lethal strikes against the West, culminating with 9/11, have failed to do this. Not only has the Great War not materialized, but the forces of Islamic terror are in disarray. What’s left of the Taliban is hiding in caves. The great jihad against the invaders of Iraq is kaput. Increasingly-desperate terrorist attacks against the West are making less and less of an impact. Suicide bombers, even those that are women, are no longer admired by nearly as many as in days past. (Killing the friends and families of those you wish to influence can do that, sometimes.)
So just what is an ambitious extremist to do?
Maybe turn an entire nation into a gigantic suicide bomb?
I’m reminded of something written by the late Steven Vincent about the difference between Sunni and Shiite suicide bomber/warriors in In The Red Zone, noted here:
The Sunni terrorist seeks honor and exaltation in a kind of suicidal sadism, killing as many of his civilian enemies as possible. The Shia shaheed, on the other hand, pursues his spiritual apotheosis by getting his enemies to kill him–a lethal exhibitionism first seen in the Iraq-Iran War, when Tehran sent waves of teenage boys, adorned with red headbands and plastic keys to Paradise, into battle zones to trigger land mines. So far, Iraqi Shia radicals have not resorted to terrorism against civilians. In addition, rather than use clandestine IEDS or car bombs against U.S. troops, Sadr’s al-Mahdi militia opposed Marines in irregular combat–and paid the price. Re-enacting the fate of Hussain and his followers at Karbala, many Shias, it seems, would rather be killed than kill.
Iran, of course, is overwhelmingly Shiite.
Could it be that, either by the design of the mullahs or by someone else, that Iran is setting the stage to be offered up as a martyr state, leveled by the West (unless the Jews do it first, which would be even more delicious) as a desperate attempt to unify the Muslim world against the infidels in an apocalyptic war?
No. You’re right. This theory doesn’t make sense. Which means that it matches up with the actions of Iran so far in this century.
Is there a method in Iran’s madness? And, if so, just whose method is it?