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Biographical Data :

Name :Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr
Period :1936 - 1980
Biographical detail : Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was born in 1936 in Kadimiya -Iraq. He enrolled in Najaf Academy in 1948 and joined Da'wa in 1958. Wrote Our Philosophy in 1959, and Our Economics in 1961. He announced his marja'iyyah in 1971. He was arrested in the aftermath of 1977 Safr Uprising as its inspirational leader were he was recognised as leader of anti-government Islamic Resistance in 1978-1979. Sayyid Sadr was arrested then placed under house arrest in 1979 - 1980 were he issued 3 anti-government statements in 1980 which led to his execution with his sister Bint al-Huda in April 8 1980.

On April 8, 1980, Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed. His execution aroused no criticism from the West against the Iraqi regime, however, because Sadr had openly supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran and because the West was distracted by the turbulence in Iran that followed the revolution. Governments both in the West and in the region were concerned that the Iranian revolution would be "exported," and they set about eliminating that threat. When Ayatollah Khomeini called upon Muslims in Iraq to follow the example of the Iranian people and rise up against the corrupt secular Ba'thist socialist regime, they interpreted it as the first step in the spread of Islamic radicalism that would eventually lead to the destablization of the whole region.

Sadr's support of the Khomeini crusade against the Bacthists was considered a threat to the Iraqi regime and dealt with swiftly. Thousands were arrested, and hundreds were executed without trial. Sadr as the head of a movement that had gained popular support from the success of the Iranian revolution, emerged as an antigovernmental leader and a catalyst for anti-Ba'thist activity, and was regarded by his followers as the "future Khomeini" of Iraq. The Ba'thist regime decided that he had to be eliminated if the regime was to survive. Sadr's execution, hence, was the act of an authoritarian regime fighting for its survival.

What made political Islam such a grave danger to the regimes in the area was not simply its popular appeal, but also the grassroots organizations that embraced its principles and political slogans. In almost all Middle East countries Islamic political groups had, since the turn of the century, been bent on achieving their principal goal of establishing a state based on the principles and teachings of Islam, and these very organizations had paved the way for the victory of the revolution in Iran. Khomeini also found in them both the means and the political muscle to export Islamic revolutionary ideas to the rest of the Middle East.

Some of these organizations, including the Islamic Da'wa Party which Sadr founded, had existed in Iraq before the Islamic revolution in Iran and the Ba'thist regime in Iraq. Sadr was also the mastermind behind a program that aimed to establish an Islamic state not only in Iraq, but throughout the Islamic world. The role Sadr played in the Shi'i community in Iraq at large and his effort to counter the political acquiescence of the religious establishment and to confront the political oppression there made him the Shia leader in that country.
 (Compiler : Haidar Hadi)


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