Rush to Destruction: Iran's Version of the Singularity
Iranian Shias have a legend of the Twelfth Imam, representing the messianic end of the present world and the final triumph of Islam over the infidels. Current day leaders of Iran seem to have taken the legend of the twelfth imam to heart, in their rush to develop nuclear weapons so as to be able to incinerate the enemies of their own version of radical revolutionary supremacist Islam.
Over at Shrinkwrapped blog, the psychologist blogmaster has posted a fascinating series of essays entitled The Singularity and the 12th Imam, Parts I-V. You should first read essay one, then proceed through the essays, being sure to check out the comments.
Here are the links to all five essays in the series:
A lot of people avoid the reality that tens of millions of religious and ideological fanatics would like to see them enslaved or dead. It is one thing to be honestly ignorant of one's precarious place in the world. It is something else to be studiously ignorant--intentionally ignorant. That verges on stupidity.
Addendum: I recently read VS Naipaul's fascinating account of his visit in 1979 to revolutionary Iran. His poignant style captured the mood of the place at the time, reminiscent of the engaging book describing a different islamist revolution, Kite Runner. You can inhale a bit of the essence of the Iranian belief in the twelfth imam, from the second page of Naipaul's article.