Encouraging signals emanating from Iraq these days are guiding toward a just path after the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council, Ammar Al Hakim, has relinquished his seat at the council to form the National ‘Hikma’ Party.
Also a visit by the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr to Saudi Arabia on Monday shows that Iraqi Shiite leaders and political thinkers are looking for alternatives to the Iranian monopoly.
This was not Al-Sadr’s first visit to Saudi Arabia. The man has a clear plan independent of the rest of the Shiite religious forces. This is evident in more ways than one including his leadership of popular movement protests against government corruption in Baghdad.
Al-Sadr also has sharp comments about the rejection of the sectarian fragmentation in Iraq while keeping himself and his supporters at long distance from Iranian militias such as “Asaib al-Haq”, “Najba”, “Badr Corps” and others.
He has also distanced himself from Shiite figures immersed in sectarian slogans and Khomeini culture, while conceding to Qassem Suleimani, such as (Abu Mahdi) Mohandis, (Hadi) Amiri and (Aws) Khafaji.
Al-Sadr has sharp comments about the rejection of the sectarian fragmentation in Iraq and he has kept himself and his supporters at a distance from Iranian militiasMashari Althaydi
Leaving a legacy
Will Ammar al-Hakim succeed in leaving the legacy of the Council, an entity that evolved and developed within the Iranian diaspora and whose leaders were an organic part of the Khomeinist Revolutionary Guards?
When Baqer al-Hakim, the Council’s first leader, returned to Iraq, he decided to become a purely religious reference, leaving his brother Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Ammar’s father, to manage the affairs of the council and the political and field movements.
According to observers, he was preparing himself to be an independent Iraqi reference, but was later assassinated in a famous operation in Najaf with the holy status of the Shiite conscience August 2003.
Was the late Mr. Baqir al-Hakim capable of spiritual and political independence at the time? Will the famous descendant of the religious house, Amar, resume this journey? Or is what Ammar doing only a political and media “maneuver” to reproduce the image, after the huge damage to the Iraqi political class, the Shiite Muslim sect on the expense of the government and the public?
Only time is capable of revealing this, but there is no doubt that Iraq, the great country in this troubled East, is indispensable for the history and identity of the past, and the cornerstone of peace and development in the present.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.