Good news: Sadr studying to become an ayatollah

posted at 10:41 pm on December 13, 2007 by Allahpundit

His major? Shiite theocracy.

Al-Sadr currently has the relatively low title of hojat al-Islam, which leaves his supporters no choice but to seek religious guidance from top establishment clerics — many of whom al-Sadr sees as out of touch with common Iraqis and accuses of acquiescing to Washington’s demands…

Significantly, the aides said, the main focus of al-Sadr’s studies has been the Shiite doctrine known in Arabic as “wilayet al-faqeeh,” which supports the right of clerical rule. The concept was adopted Iran’s Khomeini, but carries little support among Iraq’s Shiite religious hierarchy…

Al-Sadr also is seeking to give the Mahdi Army a more religious bloodline, the aides said.

Velayat e-faqih is also, coincidentally, the organizing principle of the Iranian government-by-cleric. CSM took a look a few days ago at the ambivalent relationship between Sadr and Iran, most recently addressed on this site here. Are they partners in building an Iraqi Hezbollah or is Iran coopting “rogue” Mahdi Army militiamen and in so doing giving Sadr headaches in having to deal with them? Both, probably, but certainly at least the former says the Monitor:

Many analysts say what may reemerge is an Iraqi version of Lebanon’s Hizbullah – a state within a state that embraces politics while maintaining a separate military and social structure that holds powerful sway at home and in the region…

“Iran is definitely interested in having its own proxy political and military force in Iraq, just like Lebanon. Iran may try to wait a bit now to see who will emerge as the more dominant force,” says Riad al-Kahwaji, a Dubai-based military expert on Iran. “All the indications so far are that [Iran] has invested a great deal in the Mahdi Army.”

The same piece says JAM members are being told to donate blood, sweep streets, and engage in other conspicuous acts of civic-mindedness to help Sadr try to repair the image that’s been tarnished by the gangsterism that characterizes much of the group’s activity these days, especially among younger members. WaPo’s got a crazy piece out today echoing the Times piece in October about Mahdi Army teens gone wild, killing on command, threatening schoolgirls with death if they won’t wear the hijab, and terrifying their neighborhoods to the point where their own parents fear them. The backlash is coming but it doesn’t look like it’ll come in time to take the group down before Sadr remakes it. Note this passage; change a few words and it could describe how Al Qaeda alienated the Sunnis in Anbar.

Increasingly, the militia’s victims are Shiites.

Tobji’s Shiite head of the local council, Abu Hussein Kamil, and another official were assassinated in August. Kamil, Ali said, had not given jobs to relatives of the militiamen and was suspected of collaborating with U.S. forces. “He was hurting his own people,” Ali said.

In June, several young fighters tortured and killed a Shiite generator man because he would not give additional electricity to the house of a militia member, his family and neighbors said. “They call themselves the Mahdi Army, but they act like a gang,” said Majid al-Zubaidi, 28, the man’s brother. “They just want to show they are in control of everything. They want people to fear them.”

“Now, both Sunni and Shia are upset with the Mahdi Army,” Zubaidi said.

Abu Sajjad, the veteran fighter, said many older militiamen are also angry. The youths are tarnishing the militia’s image as guardians of Shiites, he said. One day, he witnessed two young fighters on a moped drive up to a car and fatally shoot the driver, a Shiite who had publicly criticized Sadr. Abu Sajjad urged the Sadr office to punish the assailants, but nothing happened, he said.

Here’s Roggio’s map of the various citizen “awakenings” around Iraq. Note that the Shiite areas in the south are still stuck in stage two.


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“Studying to be an Ayatollah”

Hope that embassy went to the highest bidder.

HerrMorgenholz on December 13, 2007 at 10:46 PM

Seriously, why is this guy still breathing?

CP on December 13, 2007 at 10:49 PM

Excellent,Sadr,make sure you leave everybody
your GPS coordinates in case Pelosi wants to
send you flowers. haha

canopfor on December 13, 2007 at 10:50 PM

Democracy – the state department will embrace him soon enough, if it hasn’t already.

The View will fully agree that “it’s their culture”.

Entelechy on December 13, 2007 at 10:57 PM

His disertation will be:

“Why the Jews are the descendants of monkeys and pigs and Why they must die”

He will get a happy face sticker on his paper and maybe a “A-trillion-plus”.

And The View will have him on in order to understand his point of view.

mjk on December 13, 2007 at 11:01 PM

Not enough facial hair for an Ayatollah, IMHO.

AZCON on December 13, 2007 at 11:15 PM

One of the books I read in January when we flew to Baghdad was Vali Nasr’s “The Shia Revival.” He writes about how Mookie was derisively known as “Mullah Atari”– because he spent more time playing video games than burying his nose in Islamic law. Guess he’s tired of being a hojat and ready to crack the books.

Michelle on December 13, 2007 at 11:16 PM

Michelle on December 13, 2007 at 11:16 PM

He is his binding his time and the troops I am in communication with know it. He is waiting for us to leave.

bnelson44 on December 13, 2007 at 11:23 PM

A great source, who knows much about the region, and Challabi, as a friend, tells me that my virulent antipathy against this guy is unfounded, and that he and Challabi are going to unite for the good of Iraq. Also, that they both are not pro Iranian and are first and foremost Iraquis, who actually look down on the Iranian Shias. Challabi is very popular in Iraq and they consider his alienation by our government a huge flaw.

Much in Iraq and the region doesn’t add up or just doesn’t make sense to me, often. For some reason, much as I was invested in getting rid of Saddam, and especially his sons, I’ve lost interest in the topic, to my regret.

And my antipathy is still 100% virulent – can’t stand this guy. Apparently killing him would cause more upheaval than not, due to his family/religious status.

Entelechy on December 13, 2007 at 11:30 PM

His disertation will be:

“Why the Jews are the descendants of monkeys and pigs and Why they must die”

mjk on December 13, 2007 at 11:01 PM

Ah, you don’t know Academe, my friend. That will be the subtitle, explaining what the snazzy short title will be. It will read in full: Simians, Semites & Swine: Why the Jews are the Descendents of Monkeys and Pigs and Why They Must Die.

(The reason, by the way, is Sabbath-breaking long ago.)

Tzetzes on December 13, 2007 at 11:30 PM

Challabi is very popular in Iraq and they consider his alienation by our government a huge flaw.

Is your friend at DOD? It seems like relying on Chalabi to pull the country together was the plan that didn’t work for Rumsfeld, Feith & Co. I hope your friend is right that Mookie isn’t looking to function as a Hezbollah-in-Iraq entitiy. I think we have to stay until we make sure the Mahdi army doesn’t present a threat to the national government.

dedalus on December 13, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Ah, you don’t know Academe, my friend. That will be the subtitle, explaining what the snazzy short title will be. It will read in full: Simians, Semites & Swine: Why the Jews are the Descendents of Monkeys and Pigs and Why They Must Die.

(The reason, by the way, is Sabbath-breaking long ago.)

Tzetzes on December 13, 2007 at 11:30 PM

Ahh, you are correct. It’s been a long time since I was in University and I’ve always been something of a speed reader.

I believe his conclusion would be: Jews suck. He’ll be the most celebrated artiste ever.

mjk on December 13, 2007 at 11:59 PM

We need to be drillin’, stillin’, and windmillin’ just as fast as we can to get the hell out of the Islamic oil-producing parts of the world. (copyright azcon 2007)

AZCON on December 14, 2007 at 1:53 AM

CP, you stole my thunder. I’ll ask it again. Why is this guy still alive?

dogsoldier on December 14, 2007 at 6:40 AM

dedalus on December 13, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Not DOD, and I agree with your last sentence. I can’t stand him.

Entelechy on December 14, 2007 at 7:30 AM

His major? Shiite theocracy.

Dang…I was hoping it would be Rock and Roll-a.

James on December 14, 2007 at 7:40 AM

I would appreciate an opportunity to assist when he takes his Martyrdom class.

leanright on December 14, 2007 at 7:55 AM

Ayatollya so.

mojo on December 14, 2007 at 10:10 AM

I hope they rent out his mosque while he is away at school. Anyone else thinking about Real Genius when Mitch calls home?

BohicaTwentyTwo on December 14, 2007 at 10:27 AM