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Hello Commander

"Hello, Commander!" This title is the English translation of a new Persian song, "Salam Farmandeh," sung by schoolchildren in Islamic schools worldwide. In 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's current Supreme Leader, admonished his cultural staff to "create a beautiful, powerful song, one that children would sing under their breath while going to school from home." Iran is one of the few Islamic countries that allow music as long as it is respectful of religious values. This song is one example of that government policy paying off. Children who sing the song pledge allegiance to Imam Mahdi, the 12th Shia Imam and the prophesied apocalyptic savior in Shia Islam. The Mahdi is believed to live in occultation and will reappear during End Times to establish peace (see "Mahdi," December 10, 2021). Some verses in the song appear to suggest that the child is pledging to martyr themselves for the Mahdi. The song also pays tribute to General Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, who was killed by an American drone in 2020.


First, listen to the song. There are several versions on YouTube, but the best is sung in Persian with closed caption subtitles. Another song version is called "Salute Commander," You can see the children perform a salute when the refrain is sung. In several clips, the children are using the Islamic hand signal, indicating "one God." So that you can see what the singer is conveying, I have listed the lyrics below. Again, there are several translations, but I think the one below makes the most sense. I transcribed it directly from the closed caption subtitles. Several names and numbers are mentioned in the lyrics, so I have listed explanatory notes right after the lyrics.


The song portrays what a young child born after 2011 would say to Imam Mahdi and, by default, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.





Lyrics to "Hello Commander":

You are the love of my spirit, my Imam of time.

You are the love of my spirit, my Imam of time.

You are the love of my spirit, my Imam of time.

You are the love of my spirit.

The world means nothing without you.

You are the love of my life. When you exist, our world falls into spring.

The world means nothing without you.

You are the love of my life. When you exist, our world falls into spring.

Hail commander, Hail to you from this straggler generation.

Hail the commander, Seyyed Ali, has summoned his soldiers of the nineties. (1)

Hail the Commander.

Come, come please for my sake, come so that I can accompany you.

I will be your supporter.

I will be obsessed with you.

I will be your Ali ibn Mahziar. (2)

I will be your commander myself, with this short height.

Come, come please for my sake, come so that I can accompany you.

I will be your supporter.

I will be obsessed with you.

I will be your Ali ibn Mahziar.

I will be your commander myself, with this short height.

Hail commander, Hail to you from this straggler generation.

Hail the commander. Seyyed Ali has summoned his soldiers of the nineties.

Hail the commander.

Do not mind my short stature. I will rise for you if necessary.

Do not mind my short stature. I will finish the work just like Mirza Koochak. (3)

Do not mind my short height. I hail you from the line of three hundred and thirteen. (4)

Do not mind my young age. Just call me and see what I would do for you. (5)

Do not mind my young age. I pray for you with these very tiny hands of mine.

Do not mind my young age. I will sacrifice Everyone swear to both my parents lives for you if necessary.

I will sacrifice Everyone.

Hail commander, Hail to you from this straggler generation.

Hail the commander, Seyyed Ali, has summoned his soldiers of the nineties.

Hail the commander.

I pledge to be needed by you one day.

I swear to be your Hajj Qasim. (6)

I promise to be at your service like Bahjat and anonymous soldiers. (7)

I promise to stay by this regime's side.

I wish you could pay me attention like Hajj Qasim.

I wish you could pay me attention.

The entire world has been looking for Mahdi for more than eleven hundred years.

Do not be concerned about soldiers, sir. All your soldiers are from the year 1400.

Hail commander, Hail to you from this straggler generation.

Hail the commander, Seyyed Ali, has summoned his soldiers of the nineties.

Hail the commander.


Notes to Lyrics

(1) The children targeted in the song are born in the Persian years 1390-1400, which is 2011-2022 on the Gregorian calendar. Seyyed Ali is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme leader.


(2) Ali ibn Mahziar was a scholar and companion of the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh of the Twelve Imams. The Mahdi is the Twelfth Shiite Imam. Using the example of a historical cleric in this manner, the child is claiming his desire to be the Mahdi's companion.


(3) Mirza Koochak Khan was an Iranian twentieth-century revolutionary leader.


(4) 313 is a reference to the number of helpers of the Mahdi.


(5) This verse suggests the child will do whatever the Mahdi needs, including the act of martyring themselves.


(6) An American drone killed General Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in 2020.


(7) Bahjat refers to the deceased Grand Ayatollah Bahjat Foumani


The song has been sung by thousands of children and displayed via video from Iran, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Australia, and Houston, Texas.


Houston, We Have a Problem

Every major city in the U.S. has an Islamic Education Center where all the Islamic families send their children to learn the Quran and their ABCs. If you conduct an Internet search for Islamic Education Centers, you will find them near the more prominent mosques. Islamic children do not go to public schools. Public schools have difficulty adopting the Islamic holiday schedule, the daily prayers, and keeping male students segregated from female students. In a sense, Islamic schools are a little like the Catholic schools used during the last few decades. In this case, there is one Educational Center of substantial size in Houston. The video showing the children singing had 600 kids participating from ages 2 to 14. Credit for the accompanying image goes to the Gateway Pundit, who published the Houston Islamic Education Center invitation for kids to join in the sing-along.


The anthem aired for the first time in March 2022 on Iranian state TV. Since then, it only took four months for Shia Muslims to organize an event in Houston. The head of the educational center equated the song to the Beatles. Frankly, I do not remember any Beatles music asking me to give my life for a messianic religious leader (Imam Mahdi) or his current real-time replacement (Ayatollah Khamenei). Faheem Kazimi is quoted as saying, "there's no political intent in it. It's a purely religious pledge to a messianic figure." Mr. Kazimi is betting you don't understand the details of what is going on.


There is an argument that the song's purpose is to generate acceptance for Iranian leaders and Islamic/Persian values. The song has a catchy tune, and the videos are entertaining. However, when you realize that Iran condones terrorism to achieve its political successes, you must step back and learn that the song encourages terrorism or, at the least, encourages acceptance of it.


Fascist states such as Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, East Germany, and Castro's Cuba used similar methods to indoctrinate their youth. This is no different, just a different country. It did not work then; it will not work now.


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