Section 2 - Aftermath
Twelfth Imam Speaks to Grand Ayatollahs
Jason Anselm, Staff Reporter
In a conference beginning December 31st and lasting two days, a majority of the world’s 67 acknowledged Shia Grand Ayatollahs converged on Najaf in Iraq to meet with and test the claims of Niyaz Hashemi, who claims that the occluded Twelfth Imam, a messianic figure of Shia Islamic belief, speaks through him. Hashemi began making these claims immediately after the assassination of Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, former Chief of Staff to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who made similar claims. Mr. Hashemi’s public statements have been highly controversial, polarizing the Shia faithful and drawing denunciation from Sunni clerics who warn of those claiming to be false prophets.
The conference concluded with acknowledging that not only was Mr. Hashemi a mouthpiece for the Occluded Imam, but that he had in turn tested the assembled Grand Ayatollahs, the majority of whom now also could hear the words of the Occluded Imam.
Representatives of the Iraqi government and its American allies claimed that there was a palpable Talent aura clinging to the emerging Grand Ayatollahs.