Joel Rosenberg is the author of the new novel, “The Twelfth Imam.”
The New York Times best selling author of the political thrillers is also a communications strategists who has formerly worked with such figures as Rush Limbaugh and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Rosenberg recently agreed to answer 10 questions about his new novel and other topics of interest from The Daily Caller:
1. Why did you decide to write the book?
We are living on the brink of the apocalypse, but the world is asleep. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in July that he actually met with the Shia Islamic messiah, known as the Twelfth Imam. Few know that happened. Fewer still know what that means. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his government’s mission is to hasten the appearance of the Twelfth Imam on earth. What’s so dangerous is that in the Shia Islamic eschatology – or End Times theology – of these two men, they believe that their God-given mission in life is to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it, in order to accelerate the arrival of their so-called messiah to earth. Given their feverish efforts to build nuclear weapons, this is very dangerous stuff. The problem is that most world leaders aren’t paying attention to the eschatology driving Iranian foreign policy. Most Americans aren’t aware of it either. We have a Farsi-speaking Hitler rising, and the world is doing nothing decisive to stop him.
Now, I’m a failed political consultant. But sometimes fiction has a way of capturing people’s imagination in a way that non-fiction doesn’t. Conservatives typically haven’t written much fiction – specifically political thrillers – over the years to educate, inspire and mobilize people on issues of great import, but we ought to. I want to take people on a spellbinding journey inside one of the darkest regimes in the world, the Iranian regime. I want to take people “inside the room,” as it were, as Iranian leaders plot their nuclear weapons strategy and plot the annihilation of Israel, which they call the “little Satan,” and the United States, which they call the “Great Satan.” Perhaps this novel, “The Twelfth Imam,” can play a small role in waking up a nation, a world, asleep at the switch.
2. Explain who the Twelfth Imam, or the Mahdi, is for those who may not know.
The Twelfth Imam was a real, flesh-and-blood person who lived during the ninth century AD. Like the eleven Shia religious leaders who went before him, he was an Arab male who, as a direct descendent of the founder of Islam, was thought to have been divinely chosen to be the spiritual guide and ultimate human authority of the Muslim people. His name was Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali. It is generally believed by Shias that he was born in Samarra, Iraq, in AD 868, though few details of his brief life are certain or free from controversy.
Sunnis, for example, believe he was born later. Before he could reach an age of maturity, when he could teach and counsel the Muslim world as was believed to be his destiny, Ali vanished from human society. Some say he was four years old, while others say five and some say six. Some believe he fell into a well in Samarra but his body was never recovered. Others believe the Mahdi’s mother placed him in the well to prevent the evil rulers of the time from finding him, capturing him, and killing him — and that little Ali subsequently became supernaturally invisible. This is where the term “Hidden Imam” is derived, as Shias believe that Ali is not dead but has simply been hidden from the sight of mankind — Shias refer to this as “occultation” — until the End of Days, when Allah will reveal him once again.