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Shiite Cleric

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October 14, 2003 | Laura King, Times Staff Writer
Rasha Abdullah considers herself a devout and observant Shiite Muslim. She dresses modestly in full-length black robes, carefully covers her black hair with a hijab, or headscarf, and makes regular pilgrimages to Shiite shrines. But she recoiled with distaste when asked whether she would support a breakaway government that Muqtader Sadr, a street-smart young Shiite cleric, is trying to launch, using his large following among disadvantaged, disaffected Shiites as a springboard.
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WORLD
September 12, 2011 | By Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
Anti-American cleric Muqtada Sadr called on followers not to launch attacks on U.S. troops who are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of the year, but warned that the violence would resume if they were not gone. Sadr's statement comes as U.S. and Iraqi officials are considering a plan to keep a small number of American troops in the country. More than 40,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, but under an agreement between Iraq and the Bush administration in 2008, virtually all should leave by the end of 2011.
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WORLD
April 9, 2009 | Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
All of the past is alive in Najaf's winding alleys, and none of it is forgotten by Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Hakim, who grins frequently and seems to delight in contradiction, as if his own suffering made him accept the paradoxes around him. In this Shiite Muslim holy city, Saddam Hussein stripped away clerics' rights and harassed, imprisoned and killed them. Hakim, a scion of one of the country's most prominent religious families, managed to survive prison and wars. After the U.S.
WORLD
May 27, 2011 | By Ned Parker and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
Wave after wave of Iraqi men stamped their feet and their hands swung high as they marched in time, dressed in the red, black and white of their nation's flag. Each group of 100 goose-stepped, carrying a white placard that read "God is great" and gave their unit's number. It was the most organized and disciplined display of street power in the eight-year existence of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr's grass-roots movement, drawing by some estimates 100,000 people into Baghdad's streets.
NEWS
November 30, 1994 | Reuters
Iran's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Araki, the most senior spiritual guide of Shiite Muslims, has died at the age of 100 in Tehran, the Iranian news agency Irna reported Tuesday. Araki had been the last survivor of a generation of senior Shiite clerics, including the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who was his student. The question of his succession had already raised heated debate in Iran.
WORLD
April 1, 2006 | Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
Shiite Muslim religious leaders ratcheted up their rhetoric against the U.S. during Friday prayers amid ongoing sectarian violence and faltering talks over the creation of a new Iraqi government. One leading Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Mohammed Yacoubi, called on Washington to remove U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is perceived by some Shiites as biased in favor of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and secular Iraqis.
WORLD
July 29, 2006 | Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer
In a sermon rich with bloody imagery and religious struggle, an influential Shiite Muslim cleric Friday condemned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's trip to Washington this week as a betrayal of Islam and a humiliation to his people at the hands of U.S. and Israeli aggressors. Sheik Aws Khafaji intertwined the bloodshed in Iraq and Lebanon, calling it a design by Christians and Jews to defeat the Muslim world. He criticized Maliki's speech before the U.S.
WORLD
November 24, 2003 | John Daniszewski, Times Staff Writer
He is angry and unapologetic when it comes to criticizing the occupation of Iraq. But unlike other sworn opponents of the American presence, he has a famous name and family history that give him credibility with millions of poor urban Shiite Muslims who make up the majority in this country. And that is what makes Muqtader Sadr so potentially dangerous to U.S.
WORLD
August 25, 2003 | Tracy Wilkinson and Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writers
One of Iraq's most prominent Shiite clerics survived an apparent assassination attempt Sunday when a bomb exploded at his home in the holy city of Najaf, killing three guards and wounding 10 other people. An aide to Mohammed Saeed Hakim said the cleric was scratched in the face by debris but that his wounds were not serious. He was evacuated to a safe location, said Hamid Bayati, a spokesman for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
WORLD
February 22, 2004 | Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. civil administrator for Iraq suggested Saturday that it could take as long as 15 months for elections to be held, a timetable squarely at odds with that of the nation's leading Shiite Muslim cleric. Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul Bremer III, in an interview with an Arab television channel, said Iraq needs to build up the proper infrastructure to support elections. "These technical problems will take time to fix," he told Al Arabiya, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
WORLD
January 21, 2011 | A Times Staff Writer
Anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, who arrived in Iraq this month after spending nearly four years away, has returned to Iran, two aides from his office said Friday on condition of anonymity. Sadr left Iraq Thursday or Friday, the aides said, adding that it was not clear whether his return to Iran was temporary or permanent. In early 2007, Sadr, who had influenced many Shiite Muslims in Iraq to oppose American forces after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, moved to Iran to focus on his religious studies, with the goal of advancing in Shiite Islam's religious hierarchy.
WORLD
November 25, 2010 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr, whose feared militia was crushed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki two years ago, has leveraged support for his former enemy's government into renewed influence over the country's security forces, governors' offices and even its prisons. In recent months, Maliki's government has freed hundreds of controversial members of the Shiite Muslim cleric's Mahdi Army and handed security positions to veteran commanders of the militia, which was blamed for some of the most disturbing violence in the country's civil war and insurgency against U.S. forces.
WORLD
July 6, 2010 | By Meris Lutz, Special to The Times
Tens of thousands of mourners gathered in Beirut's southern suburbs to honor a leading Shiite Muslim cleric whose death could trigger a battle over his legacy and the ideological direction of Lebanon's largest community. Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, once a spiritual mentor to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, was estimated to have a worldwide following in the millions. Despite the midday heat, the streets were packed with supporters who prayed and chanted in unison, some holding pictures of their deceased marja , or source of emulation.
WORLD
July 4, 2010 | From Reuters
Lebanon's Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, one of Shi'ite Islam's highest religious authorities, died on Sunday at the age of 74, a medical source at a Beirut hospital said. Fadlallah had a wide following beyond Lebanon's Shi'ites, extending to Central Asia and the Gulf. He was a supporter of Iran's Islamic Revolution and the spiritual leader and mentor of the Shi'ite guerrilla group Hezbollah in the first years after it was formed in 1982. A fierce critic of the United States, Fadlallah used many of his Friday prayer sermons to denounce U.S. policies in the Middle East, particularly its alliance with Israel.
WORLD
May 3, 2010 | By Liz Sly, Los Angeles Times
Among all the candidates being touted for the prime minister's job in the next Iraqi government, one stands out for his near-total lack of political experience. Jaafar Sadr, 40, has spent his entire adult life as a student, in Baghdad, in Najaf, in the Iranian city of Qom, where he pursued religious studies under ayatollahs, and most recently in Beirut, where he is close to earning a bachelor's degree in sociology and anthropology. But Sadr's heritage puts him in the ranks of aristocracy, at least by Iraqi Shiite Muslim standards.
NEWS
April 12, 2009 | Meris Lutz; Jeannine Stein; Alex Pham
Religious edicts are generally not fodder for beauty salon gossip, but as soon as Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Fadlallah issued a fatwa allowing women to pray wearing nail polish, word spread through Beirut faster than knockoff Prada bags. "All the girls in the Dahiyeh are talking about it," said 29-year-old Nadine Dirani, a veiled mother of two living in the Dahiyeh, Beirut's heavily Shiite southern suburbs. "I think it's an important step, and why not?" she said. "It makes our lives easier."
WORLD
August 30, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Muslim world is divided into two principal groups. There are about 112 million Shiites among the 1.2 billion Muslims. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunnis. There are differences between the groups in ritual and political organization, but the main division is over the Shiite belief that Imam Ali was the legitimate successor to the prophet Muhammad. Najaf is considered Ali's burial site. About 60% of Iraq's population is Shiite.
WORLD
July 15, 2006 | J. Michael Kennedy, Times Staff Writer
In the mosques and streets of Iraq, all the talk Friday was of war, but for a change it was someone else's. In a country that days ago seemed to be heading toward civil war, where whole neighborhoods were engulfed in sectarian battles, the fighting between Israel and the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah dominated talk at Friday prayers, on the streets and in newscasts.
WORLD
April 9, 2009 | Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
All of the past is alive in Najaf's winding alleys, and none of it is forgotten by Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Hakim, who grins frequently and seems to delight in contradiction, as if his own suffering made him accept the paradoxes around him. In this Shiite Muslim holy city, Saddam Hussein stripped away clerics' rights and harassed, imprisoned and killed them. Hakim, a scion of one of the country's most prominent religious families, managed to survive prison and wars. After the U.S.
WORLD
December 2, 2008 | Tina Susman, Susman is a Times staff writer.
A lasting image from the parliamentary debate here on the U.S.-Iraqi security plan is of a lawmaker loyal to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr sweeping his arm across a table in a rage, hurling books, papers and a vase of flowers onto the floor of the chamber. Ahmed Massoudi's televised tantrum, and days of Sadr loyalists shouting, pounding desks and pleading for parliament to reject the pact, made no difference.
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