THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why people follow Sadr


Maha Adel Mehdi, 32, is an Iraqi legislator
representing Shiite cleric and militia commander
Muqtada al Sadr. Mehdi was a Sunni who converted to
Shiite after becoming a devotee of Sadr's father, a
revered ayatollah who was killed in 1999.

One woman's journey lifts veil on Sadr's appeal
By Hannah Allam
McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Maha Adel Mehdi's awakening came during her college years. She'd ached to hear a voice - just one - that dared to criticize the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the policies that stifled the dreams of her generation.

Mehdi found her "light of righteousness" in Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, a Shiite Muslim cleric who openly called for political reform and religious freedom until he was killed in a hail of gunfire, along with two of his sons, in 1999.

"There was something in his voice I couldn't resist. I found myself listening until the very end. His speeches were something different," Mehdi recalled. "At the time, I needed someone to set me on the right path. Sadr did that."

Millions of Shiites sought solace in Sadr's words, but Mehdi's story was different: She was a Sunni Muslim when she first heard Sadr's call. Now a 32-year-old mother of two, Mehdi is still serving Sadr, as one of the 11 female legislators loyal to his son, Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia is at the forefront of Iraq's violence.

Mehdi prides herself on the rebellious streak that compelled her to give up her family, her sect and her safety to begin a new life. Her journey helps explain the broad appeal of a militant movement that's able to turn even the unlikeliest of supporters into devotees prepared to face death.

"I read many books until I reached a very clear point that the Shiite way is my way," Mehdi said. "I am ready to sacrifice my life for this path."

Critics accuse the younger Sadr of sullying his father's reputation by sending adolescents to their deaths in two bloody uprisings against U.S. forces, fielding death squads to carry out revenge attacks on Sunnis and turning the family's venerated name into a synonym for thuggery.

Diehard followers such as Mehdi, however, view the younger Sadr's brand of resistance as a natural words-to-deeds progression of his father's defiance. Now, however, the cause isn't toppling a dictator but driving out the American troops who once were hailed as liberators.

posted by Steve @ 3:01:00 AM

3:01:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans