But how irrational are the mullahs? I'd say they're as corrupt as Hitchens makes them out to be. In fact, I'd say corruption is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes. They use religion as a way to incite the masses--that's how they came to power--and as a way to control them. Osama and company do the same.
It doesn't matter whether they believe in what they preach as Roger Simon seems to think. Some may. Some may not. But religion is their tool. Just as "scientific socialism" was the tool the Soviets used, especially in regard to recruiting the various useful idiots in the West to their cause.
Although Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung thought had it's religious component to be sure, its basis was "scientific socialism." It wasn't meant to be accepted as blind faith, but to be proven. Islam, as practiced by the mullahs and their adherents, is toute autre chose.
If "scientific socialism" isn't a religious belief, as Simon seems to think, then I don't know what is. It can no more be "proven" than transubstantiation.