Don't Miss: The Story of the 12th Imam In Shia Islam there is a belief the 12th Imam, a mystical figure who vanished during the 10th century. He is said to be hidden by God and will return one day to establish a period of Islamic justice for all the world. Today, NPR's Mike Shuster tells that story and discusses its modern implications. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is thought to hold a strong belief in the return of the 12th Imam, and many analysts worry about how this belief affects his policy choices.
NPR logo Don't Miss: The Story of the 12th Imam

Don't Miss: The Story of the 12th Imam

In Shia Islam there is a belief the 12th Imam, a mystical figure who vanished during the 10th century. He is said to be hidden by God and will return one day to establish a period of Islamic justice for all the world.

Today, NPR's Mike Shuster tells that story and discusses its modern implications. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is thought to hold a strong belief in the return of the 12th Imam, and many analysts worry about how this belief affects his policy choices. Some wonder if the belief might stiffen his hard-line positions. But another analyst in the piece points out that politicians around the world use religion to maintain their grip on power.

It's a fascinating glimpse into some of the stories that motivate another culture, just as Christian beliefs are sometimes acted out in our own.