Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim
|Died||29 August 2003 (aged 63)|
|Political party||Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq|
Sayyid Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim (1939 - 29 August 2003; Arabic: ? ? ), also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab, was a senior Iraqi Shia cleric and the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Al-Hakim spent more than 20 years in exile in Iran and returned to Iraq on 12 May 2003. Al-Hakim was a contemporary of Ayatollah Khomeini, and The Guardian compared the two in terms of their times in exile and their support in their respective homelands. After his return to Iraq, al-Hakim's life was in danger because of his work to encourage Shiite resistance to Saddam Hussein and from a rivalry with Ayatollah Muqtada al-Sadr, the son of the late Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, who had himself been assassinated in Najaf in 1999. Al-Hakim was assassinated in a bomb attack in Najaf in 2003 when aged 63 years old. The bombing may have been carried out by a member of Saddam's regime (Ba'ath), with the attack coming as al-Hakim was leaving the shrine of Imam Ali. At least 75 others in the vicinity also died in the bombing.
Al-Hakim was born in Najaf in 1939 into the Hakim Family of Shiite religious scholars. He was the son of Muhsin al-Hakim and Fawzieh Hassan Bazzi. Al-Hakim was the uncle of Muhammad Sayid al-Hakim. Al-Hakims father was a senior cleric in Najaf. He learned a traditional Shiite imam's training. He was arrested and tortured for his beliefs by Ba'athist forces in 1972 and fled to Iran in 1980. Many relatives of Al-Hakim were killed by the Baathist forces.
Al-Hakim was head of the Supreme Council of the Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which has enormous influence over Iraqi religious people. NYNews wrote in a news, George W. Bush administration had an official meeting with the brother of Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim. In this news nynews mentioned, Americans looked for a new ally against Saddam Hussein and it was the goal of this meeting. They believed he was head of the influential group between Iraq people by Newyorktimes report. He co-founded the modern Islamic political movement in Iraq in the 1960s, along with Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, with whom he worked closely until the latter's death in 1980. In an event, Mohamad Baqir Al-Sadr sent Mohamad Baqir Al-Hakim to calm the people who traped by Saddam troops between Karbala and Najaf. This incident caused Baathist arrest Baqir Al-Hakim and sent him to prison and tortured him. When Mohammad Baqir Al-Sadr was in house arrest kept his communication with Baqir Al-Hakim. Seyyid Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim brother of Baqir Al-Hakim was the person who removes their letter at this time.
Though not among the most hard-line of Islamists, Al-Hakim was seen as dangerous by the ruling Ba'ath regime, largely because of his agitation on behalf of Iraq's majority Shia population (the ruling regime was mostly Sunnis).
However, his sentence was commuted and he was released in July 1979. The subsequent eruption of war between Iraq and (largely Shia) Iran led to an ever-increasing distrust of Iraq's Shia population by the ruling Ba'ath party; combined with his previous arrests, this convinced Al-Hakim that it was impossible to continue his Shia advocacy in Iraq, and in 1980 he fled to Iran.
Safely in Iran under the protection of the Islamic Republic, Al-Hakim became an open enemy of the Ba'athists, forming the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a revolutionary group dedicated to overthrowing Saddam Hussein and installing clerical rule. Saddam responded by arresting members of Al-Hakim's family who had remained in Iraq, and executing 5 of his brothers and another dozen relatives. With Iranian military aid, SCIRI became an armed resistance group, periodically making cross-border attacks against Baathist and maintaining covert connections with resistance elements within the country.
The SCIRI military wing is called the Badr Brigades. Baqir Al-Hakim created the Badr Brigades which fought against Saddam Hussein. Badr Forces contained to number about 10,000 equipped and trained soldiers. On 11 February 1995 Badr corps attacked on Baathist forces in Amarah province. Today, Badr Brigades is fighting against ISIL with Hashd al-Shaabi name.
Al-Hakim returned to Iraq on 12 May 2003 following the overthrow of Saddam's regime by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq after spending more than two decades of exile in neighboring Iran. There he emerged as one of the most influential Iraqi leaders, with his longtime opposition to Saddam gaining him immense credibility, especially among the majority Shia population.
Initially, he was very critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Baqir Al-Hakim gives the US credit for overthrowing the Ba'athist government first, so SCIRI and other Shia opposition parties found time to re-establish themselves between Shia people. Al-Hakim's brother and fellow Muslim leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, was appointed to the Iraq interim governing council and the two worked closely together. By the time of his death, he remained distrustful, but publicly urged Iraqis to abandon violence, at least for the time being, and give the interim government a chance to earn their trust. Although Al-Hakim publicly urged the abandonment of violence, his Badr Brigade was described by The Independent as "one of the main groups accused of carrying out sectarian killings".
Al-Hakim was killed on 29 August 2003, when a car bomb exploded as he left the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf. The blast killed at least 84 others; some estimate that as many as 125 died in the bombing. Fifteen bodyguards of al-Hakim were among the people killed in the blast.
According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was responsible for Hakim's assassination. They claim that Abu Omar al-Kurdi, a top Zarqawi bombmaker who was captured in January 2005, confessed to carrying out this bombing. They also cite Zarqawi's praising of the assassination in several audiotapes. Muhammad Yassin Jarrad, the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed that his father, Yassin, was the suicide bomber in the attack.
Hundreds of thousands of people attended his funeral in Najaf and showed their hatred of the US military occupation on 2 September 2003. They protested the US forces and demanded their withdrawal from Iraq. Some The mourners believed the US forces are responsible for this assassination.