Definition/Scope: Muqtada al-Sadr (12 Aug 73) is a influential Shiite religious and political leader in Iraq even though he currently (as of May 2010) holds no official title in the Iraqi government. He is the fourth son of the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr. Muqtada al-Sadr gained popularity among younger Iraqis following the toppling of the Hussein government by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, mostly owing to his status as his father’s son, as he has no formal religious standing to interpret the Koran and relies for religious advice on an Iraqi cleric exiled in Iran, Ayatollah Kazem al-Haeri. It is common belief that al-Sadr wishes to create an Islamic theocracy in Iraq, although al-Sadr himself has on occasion stated that he wishes to create an "Islamic democracy." In April 2004 he initiated a revolt against the coalition of forces occupying Iraq. In a press conference on 6 March 2010 ahead of the Iraqi parliamentary election, 2010. Muqtada al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to participate in the election and support those who seek to expel U.S. troops out of the country. Al-Sadr warned that any interference by the United States will be unacceptable. Al-Sadr, who has thousands of staunch followers across Iraq has consistently opposed the presence of foreign forces and repeatedly called for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq.
Narrower Terms:Jaysh al-Mahdi