“Sign of Allah”?
ThatÂ isÂ the literal meaning of “ayatollah.” At any rate, now that Sadr’sÂ studies in IranÂ have come to an end he can put them toÂ renewed use. “Iraq: Radical cleric becomes ‘ayatollah,'” fromÂ Adnkronos, thanks to JW:
Baghdad, 5 May (AKI) – Radical Iraqi Shia cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, is reported to have assumed the title of Grand Ayatollah after concluding his studies in the holy city of Qom in Iran. Sources close to the cleric’s faction released the news to the Arab daily, al-Sharq al-Awsat.[…]Â
Former Asshole of the Month released from jail: Â Are we serious about clamping down on our own hate preachers ?
With perfect timing, it emerges today that one of Britain’s most notorious hate preachers, Abu Izzadeen, has been released barely a year after he was jailed for four and a half years for inciting terrorism and terror fundraising.
Izzadeen (who sounds a lot less scary when you know he is really called Trevor Brooks) found notoriety in 2006 for heckling John Reid when the then-Home Secretary visited a London mosque. Read it all>>
Al-Sadr joined his supporters after completing two years of study in Iran and was expected to return to Iraq this week to resume his religious leadership.
During the Shia conference entitled ‘The Al-Sadr faction and future challenges’, Al-Sadr’s supporters renewed their commitment to fight the occupation of their country and demand the removal of all foreign troops, while seeking greater collaboration with other Iraqi political parties.
In 2004, al-Sadr’s militia launched an uprising against American troops in Baghdad and British forces in the Shia heartland of southern Iraq.
But his militia suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Iraq’s new army last year and his followers have reportedly now turned to mainstream politics.
Al-Sadr is the son of a revered Ayatollah, Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, who represented oppressed majority Shias during Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.
He was murdered by the former regime in 1999, an assassination which provoked widespread riots in Shia areas.