A brief history of the Sadrist movement

The first in a seven part series:

‘This assassination led to a power struggle for leadership in the group. Sadiq al-Sadr’s appointed successor, Sayyid Kazim al-Ha’iri, vied with one of Sadiq al-Sadr’s remaining sons Muqtada al-Sadr. At the same time many of the groups’ followers shifted their support to other prominent clerics such as al-Sistani. Due to al-Ha’iri’s isolation in Qom, Iran, Muqtada al-Sadr won the power struggle and, working through his father’s networks, established a “tight, clandestine organization among the poor and repressed Shi’ites of Kufa and East Baghdad”. Muqtada al-Sadr maintained the loyalty of most of his fathers supports and won popular support among the downtrodden Shia in eastern Baghdad. The group ultimately took a hard-line stance, insisting that the movement’s leadership must remain in the hands of Iraqi-born Shiites; such a position aimed to weaken rival Iranian-born al-Sistani and confirmed larger nationalistic goals.’

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