I made this post after a very exhausting research , in order to get the tiny details about him , In this post I'll try to tell every detail about this man who had a major role in the destruction and sectarian violence in Iraq.
Muqtada was born in 1974 in his grandfather's house.
Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr's father, was a well-respected figure throughout the Shiite Islamic World. He was murdered, along with two of his sons.allegedly by the government of Saddam . Some believe it was an insider job carried out by the orders coming from Najaf in February 1999, the stronghold of the al-Sadr clan. Muqtada's father-in-law was executed by the Iraqi authorities in 1980. As Muqtada al-Sadr lacks the religious education and degrees required by Shiite doctrines, he does not claim the title of mujtahid (the equivalent of a senior religious scholar) or the authority to issue fatwas (religious edicts); consequently, he bases his religious authority on his lineage alone. Before the assassination of his father, his principal employment was as his father's doorman, responsible for greeting guests at his father's home.He wasn't respected by the people in Najaf for many reasons because of the lack of religious education as I mentioned and also because of his childish behaviors , they said he was fond of video-games (which doesn't suit a cleric) he was always seen in video-games casinos and that's why he got the nickname (Muqtada Atari) or (Muqtada play-station) he also used to wear jeans (before the war) and that's something shameful to a cleric or even any man living in the governments (except Baghdad) because people their and the tribes consider the jeans for fagots.
Assassinations and violence
His relationships with other Shiite clerics are tense, and occasionally violent. Some of his followers are alleged to be responsible for the assassination on 10 April 2003 of Imam Abdul Majid al-Khoei. This is accounted for by the fact that the perpetrators used ropes to pull Abdul Majid al-Khoei and his aide's bodies across some alleys near the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, and shouted slogans claiming vengeance for the assassination of al-Sadr. The al-Khoei Family, however, do not hold Muqtada al-Sadr responsible and have blamed Ba'athists for the killing.
There was a dispute over the keys to the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf. The mosque contains the tomb of Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and, according to Shi'a belief, heir to the Prophet's legacy. It is among the most sacred Shiite sites, and also the source of a considerable amount of revenue. The traditional hereditary holder of the keys, Haidar Raifee fled for fear of his life after the fall of Saddam's regime. Mr. Raifee was widely believed to be an agent of Saddam's Ba'ath party, who had informed on countless Shiite opponents of Saddam's regime. Many of these activists and their families were allegedly tortured and killed by Saddam's Mukhabarat, the former Iraqi secret police. Al-Khoei, with the backing and protection of American and British armed forces, felt that he was in a position to broker a reconciliation between Muqtada al-Sadr and the hereditary custodian of the Shrine (or Kiliadar), Haidar Raifee. Al-Khoei escorted Haidar Raifee from hiding back to his post at the mosque. Al-Khoei's support for Haidar Raifee would be considered an extreme provocation by the Shiite public in the city. Having lived in exile for 12 years in Britain, and having met with Tony Blair and Jack Straw, Al-Khoei had been hand-picked by the Americans and British to become a prominent leader in the Shiite community in Iraq. Al-Khoei was thus accused by many of taking orders from, and thus acting on behalf of, the American Government. His support for the Ba'athist Raifee was used as a pretext for his murder by a Shi'a mob.Witnesses have said that they were confronted at the mosque by an angry mob, some of whom shouted "Raifee is back". They called him an "animal" and threatened to beat him with their sandals (a traditional Iraqi insult.) According to reports, al-Khoei fired his pistol in the air to get the crowd to back off. However, rather than retreating, the angry crowd surged at al-Khoei, Raifee, and the nearby civilians. The mob killed Raifee with bayonets and knives; al-Khoei was chased down and killed in an alley near the headquarters of al-Sadr, not far from the mosque where Raifee had died only a few minutes beforehand.Muqtada al-Sadr claims that the murderers were not his followers, and that he in fact sent men to prevent al-Khoei's murder. The al-Sadr family sent and published official condolences to the al-Khoei family , but it's clear to everyone that Muqtada is responsible . The initial warrant against al-Sadr produced after U.S. forces decided to shut down his newspaper, Al-Hawza Al-Natika (Speaking Hawza), alleged that members of the mob claimed to be there on al-Sadr's orders, and that he had instructed them not to kill al-Khoei inside the mosque. Al-Khoei's close followers did not blame al-Sadr for the murder (the wanted to prevent any disturbance might happen and some say they were concerned about their safety) , but instead publicly blamed former Ba'ath party members who also hated al-Khoei (in complete contradiction of his kindness to Raifee) .
Shortly after the US ousted Saddam and his Ba'ath regime, al-Sadr voiced opposition to the Coalition Provisional Authority. He subsequently stated that he had more legitimacy than the Coalition-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC). In September 2003, he declared a shadow government, in opposition to the IGC officials, who were chosen by the US.
In April of 2003 his followers, organized as the Sadr Bureau, began providing services throughout Sadr City, then still known as Saddam City. The services ranged from health care to food and clean water. Later in 2003, residents of Sadr City meeting in neighborhood caucuses elected neighborhood councils, and ultimately a district council to represent the Sadr City District. The Sadr Bureau, aided by the Mahdi Army, attempted to remove the new District Council by force of arms and occupied the District Council Hall for several weeks. Finally, Coalition forces removed them from the premises, and the elected District Council resumed their duties. Despite this action by the Coalition authorities, the Sadr Bureau and the Mahdi Army have continued to act within Sadr City almost unhindered by US and Iraqi forces (most of them are loyal to Al-Sadir). Members of the elected District Council have been continually threatened, and some have been attacked for their alleged co-operation with the Americans.
Muqtuda al-Sadr and a rare portion of Religious Shiite Islamics created what is called Jaish Al-Mahdi at 28 june 2004. The Mahdi Army began as a small group of roughly 500 seminary students connected with Muqtada al-Sadr in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, formerly known as Saddam City. The group moved in to fill the security vacuum in Sadr City and in a string of southern Iraqi cities following the fall of Baghdad to US forces . Gradually, the militia grew and al-Sadr formalized it in June of 2003. The Mahdi Army grew into a sizable force of up to 10,000 who even operated what amounted to a shadow government in some areas. Al-Sadr's preaching is critical of the US occupation, it's know that this army is responsible for the killing and threating of a massive number of Iraqis mainly Sunni and some Shiite.And about the soldiers of this army , it's known to most Iraqis that his followers are mainly former prisoners who run away from the prisons after the war , and criminals , thieves and thugs , in adition to that a wide range of police and national army members are loyal to him.
Who is Al-Mahdi?
In Shiite Islamic eschatology the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam. Though the advent of Mahdi is not a universally accepted concept in Islam, there are basic differences among different sects of Muslims about the timing and nature of his advent and guidance. Most Muslims believe that the Mahdi will change the world into a perfect and just Islamic society alongside Jesus before Yaum al-Qiyamah ( Day of the Resurrection ).The exact nature of the Mahdi differs according to Sunni and Shiite Muslims , the Mahdi is not mentioned in the Qu'ran.
The Mahdi, according to Shi'ite tradition, will arise at some point before the day of judgement, institute a kingdom of justice, and will in the last days fight alongside the returned Jesus against the Dajjal, the Antichrist . However, like most religious concepts, various Muslim traditions have ascribed different characteristics to the Mahdi.There have been several personalities over time who have considered themselves the Mahdi prophesied in Islam , the notion of a Mahdi as a redeemer to establish a society has lent itself to various interpretations leading to different claims within minorities or by individuals within Islam.The first historical recorded reference to a movement using the name of Mahdi is al-Mukhtar's rebellion against the Umayyid Caliphate in 686, almost 50 years after Muhammad's death. Al-Mukhtar claimed that Ibn al-Hanifiya, a son of the fourth Caliph Ali (the first Imam of Shi'ite), was the Mahdi who would save the Muslim people from the unjust rule of the Umayyids. Ibn al-Hanifiya was not actively involved in the rebellion, and when the Umayyids successfully quashed it, they left him undisturbed.
the famous story about Al-Mahdi is that he fell into a well (some say trapped in a cave) and he went into a sleep . And before the judgment day he will rise again.
Al-Hawza and Rebellion
At the end of March 2004, Coalition authorities in Iraq shut down Sadr's newspaper, al-Hawza Al-natika, on charges of inciting violence (as a side note, al-Hawza is also the name of the religious institution (of colleges), in Najaf, which was headed by Sadr's father). The Coalition authorities said false reporting, including articles that ascribed suicide bombings to Americans, could spark off violence.Sadr responded by mobilizing many Shi'a followers to demonstrations, protesting at the closure of the newspaper. But, the demonstrations escalated throughout the week in number and militancy. On April 4, fighting broke out in Najaf, Sadr City and Basra. Sadr's al-Mahdi Army took over several points and attacked coalition soldiers, killing dozens of foreign soldiers, and taking many casualties of their own in the process. At the same time, Sunni rebels in the cities of Baghdad, Samarra, Ramadi, and, most notably, Fallujah, staged uprisings as well, causing the most serious challenge to coalition control of Iraq to date.Paul Bremer, then the U.S. administrator in Iraq, declared on April 5, 2004 that the militant cleric was an outlaw and that uprisings by the cleric and his followers would not be tolerated. It emerged that, some months earlier, an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for al-Sadr on charges relating to the murder of al-Khoei. This had apparently been kept secret for some time but was now announced publicly by Bremer. Several senior U.S. politicians opined that the revolt would push back the date for the transfer of power to the IGC, but the handover nevertheless occurred on June 28, 2004, two days ahead of schedule.
August 2004 hostilities
After the 4 June truce with the U.S. led coalition forces, al-Sadr claimed to take steps to disband the Mahdi army. In a statement, he called on resistance members from outside Najaf to "do their duty" and go home. U.S. forces in Najaf were then replaced by Iraqi police. Al-Sadr told supporters not to attack Iraqi security forces and set himself up to become a political force, announcing his intention to form a party and contest the 2005 elections. He said the interim government was an opportunity to build a unified Iraq. Interim President Ghazi Yawer gave assurances that al-Sadr could join the political process, provided he abandoned his resistance movement. Iraqi officials also assured al-Sadr that he was not to face arrest.Despite the promises of the Iraqi government, in late July Sadr announced his intention to boycott the upcoming national conference, as did the Association of Muslim Scholars (Sunni organization). Although al-Sadr initially promised to support the conference, he changed his mind, claiming through a spokesman that it was "a sad joke" and "a trick on the Iraqi people" because of the allegedly undemocratic process for selecting the delegates. On 31 July, al-Sadr's representative in Karbala, Sheikh Mithal al Hasnawi, and al-Hasnawi's brother were captured by U.S. and Iraqi National Guard troops in a joint raid. Sadr representatives condemned the move, reportedly saying "We demand that they be freed, and if this is ignored then we will respond at the appropriate time." The June settlement was broken after Iraqi policemen and U.S. troops surrounded al-Sadr's home on 3 August, resulting in heavy gunfire, mortar shelling and grenade blasts. The apparent aim was to arrest al-Sadr and destroy his movement . The decision to extend a firefight into extended combat is reported to have been made by U.S. Marines, without the approval of the Pentagon or the Allawi government.On August 5, via his spokesman Ahmed al-Shaibany, al-Sadr reaffirmed his commitment to the truce and called on U.S. forces to honor the truce. He announced that if the restoration of the ceasefire failed "then the firing and igniting of the revolution will continue." The offer was rejected by the governor of Najaf ("There is no compromise or room for another truce") and U.S. officials ("This is one battle we really do feel we can win") . In the days that followed, fighting continued around the old city of Najaf, in particular the Imam Ali shrine and the cemetery. The Mahdi army was heavily outnumbered by some 2,000 U.S. marines and 1,800 Iraqi government security forces, and outgunned by superior U.S. firepower, including attack helicopters. On August 13, the resistance was trapped in a cordon around the Imam Ali shrine. The Mahdi resistance is thought to have suffered hundreds of casualties in the fighting, while U.S. Marine casualties were fairly light , Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, arrived in Iraq and began travelling with a "peace convoy" towards Najaf "to stop the bloodshed." By the next day, an agreement brokered by Sistani required the Mahdi resistance movement to disarm and leave Najaf and U.S. troops to withdraw from the city. Resistance men began handing in their weapons after al-Sadr asked them to do so and left the complex escorted by worshippers. The U.S. welcomed the agreement and vowed to respect a ceasefire. U.S. forces have stayed out of the center of Najaf since, and as of September 2004 the city was largely under the control of the Iraqi police.On August 30, a tentative peace agreement was reached between the Iraqi government and al-Sadr to disarm his resistance in Sadr City in Baghdad. But the next day, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi unilaterally pulled out of talks, cancelling the peace proposal. The New York Times reported that Allawi had wanted to enter in armed conflict with al-Sadr due to his rising popularity after the standoff in Najaf. Fighting continued in Sadr City into October 2004, with the Mahdi resistance movement sustaining losses numbering in the hundreds. The physical infrastructure of Sadr City also suffered damage during this period and there were reports of substantial civilian casualties. Ultimately al-Sadr agreed to a ceasefire, and subsequently agreed to participate in the January 2005 election process.
Capture of Amarah
On October 19, 2006, al-Sadr's Mahdi Army seized control of Amarah government in the south of Iraq. Hundreds of militiamen linked to Muqtada al-Sadr battled local police and members of a rival Shiite militia in the southeastern city of Amarah, destroying police stations and seizing control of entire neighborhoods, in apparent retaliation for the arrest of one of their fighters. According to Western intelligence officials, though, Mr. Sadr appears to have lost control of part of his militia, which has splintered off into freelance death squads. In fact, it remained unclear whether he had approved the Amarah uprising before it began. Witnesses said a message from Mr. Sadr was blared over loudspeakers from vehicles in Amarah October 20, 2006, calling on gunmen to lay down their weapons. The order was widely disregarded.
Ethnic Cleansing of Sunni
Muqtada al-Sadr's militia have been involved in widespread ethnic cleansing of Sunni, especially those living in Shiite areas . Reports also indicate that the death squads which have been responsible for the deaths of many Sunnis are not the actions of rogue elements but "a carefully orchestrated response to the attacks of Sunni extremists" by Sadr's Mahdi Army . His public statements have on occasion condemned violence against Sunnis as well as terrorist attacks directed against the Shiite population. He has exhorted his followers not to fall into the trap of retaliation leading to civil war. He claims that America stands to gain the most from an Iraqi civil war which would require the continued presence of US troops and put the US in the role of political referee and powerbroker between the warring factions. But everybody knows that this is just talking and even the most ignorant man knows that he is responsible not only for the cleansing of Sunni but for some Shiite too.
Abo-Diri' and Adhamyia
Abo-Diri' (diri' means shield) is a leader in Jaish Al-Mahdi , not alot is known about him but he was an ex-convict for killing and raping cases , he is known for his brutality , in july 2006 he attacked Adhamyia (majority Sunni) with a massive number of Al-Mahdi Army , they wear black clothes with horns on their heads , they killed many of the citizens and clashes started between Al-Mahdi Army And the people in Adhamyia defending for them selves.My father and my wife (who were in my father's car) almost get killed in this attack as they came face to face with Al-Mahdi Army but my father managed to run away from them.
Relations with al-Sistani
Relations with the most powerful cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have also been tense. Al-Sistani's more conservative clerical leadership is often in conflict with the radical young al-Sadr. Al-Sistani is said by observers to draw support from established, property-owning Shiites, while Muqtada al-Sadr's support is strongest among the urban poor, many of whom see him as their champion. Additionally the murder of al-Khoei, the son of al-Sistani's mentor, may be a source of tension.The conflict is more about temporal than spiritual matters; al-Sistani controls donations from pilgrims and wealthy donors, which al-Sadr also apparently covets. His followers attempted to seize control of the al-Sistani-controlled holy sites in Karbala in October 2003 but were repulsed, with dozens of people killed and injured. Armed clashes between al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army and the Badr Organization have broken out with significant bloodshed resulting. However, Sistani has thus far refused to publicly chastise Sadr for the spring uprising against the US , instead decreeing that both sides should avoid incitement to violence and condemning the coalition for its tactics.
On March 25 2006 Muqtada al-Sadr was in his home and escaped a mortar attack. This attack was disputed, as the ordnance landed more than 50 meters from his home.Al-Sadrís considerable leverage was apparent early in the week of 16 October 2006, when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the release of one of Al-Sadrís senior aides. The aide had been arrested a day earlier by American troops on suspicion of participating in kidnappings and killings
On October 25, 2006 U.S. soldiers uncovered a book after a raid in the Washash neighborhood in Baghdad with information about Mehdi Army had engaged in a systematic campaign of violence and intimidation to clear out Sunni residents in this town . 27 Dec 2006 Muqtada al-Sadrs top aide, Saheb al-Amiri was killed in a raid by U.S. troops in the Shiite holy city of Najaf On December 30, 2006 people loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr infiltrated the security detail for Saddam Hussein's execution, chanted "Muqtada" and taunted Saddam, and got it all on film, which then circulated on Arab television and the internet.And there are rumors that Al-Sadir posseses the rope in which Saddam was hanged , and that a kwaiti business-man is ready to give any amount of money for this rope.
On February 13, several sources in the US government claimed that Muqtada al-Sadr had left Iraq and fled to Iran in anticipation of the coming security crackdown . US military spokesman Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell reinforced this account on February 14, but a member of Iraq's parliament and an aide to al-Sadr have denied the claims . Sami al-Askari, an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki claims "as far as I know he is still in Iran" and "he's a very secretive man." .On March 30, it was reported that Sadr, through clerics speaking on his behalf, "delivered a searing speech ... condemning the American presence in Iraq ... and calling for an anti-occupation mass protest on April 9...." This call to protest was significant in that, since the beginning of the American "troop surge" (which began on February 14, 2007), Sadr had ordered his "militia to lie low during the new Baghdad security plan so as not to provoke a direct confrontation with the Americans." .Following fourteen weeks of hiding, on 25 May 2007 Al-Sadr reemerged. Driving in a long motorcade from Najaf to Kufa, Al-Sadr proceeded to deliver a sermon to an estimated 6000 followers in the main mosque. Reiterating his usual condemnation of the United States presence in Iraq, Al-Sadr's speech also contained calls for unity between Sunni and Shiite. Many saw the speech as an effort to reign in his militia, which has broken into several factions since his departure. Several of these factions have been accused of violence against Sunnis.
Burning the Sunni Mosques , Facts about Al-Mahdi army from Iraq
Muqtada Al-Sadir and his militia is known for burning Sunni mosques , just in the last week they burned about 6 mosques , and the real number of the burned-up Sunni Mosques in unknow but it's a large number for sure.they are also know for killing the Sunni by tourturing them to death whether by drills or acids and many other methods , also the members of Mahdi Army is refered to in Iraq by Al-Mkapsleen (which mean they are on drugs) because most of them are always high on drugs . In addition to accusations for raping and kidnaping for ransom and car theft.
Click to view image: '97699-013707.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|