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Keyword: Falsafatuna (Our Philosophy)

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Occasional Paper

The Role of Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr in Shi'a Political Activism in Iraq From 1958 to 1980

Talib M. Aziz

Dhu al-Qa'dah 09, 14131993-05-01

On 8 April 1980, Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed. His execution aroused no criticism from the West against the Iraqi regime, however, because Sadr had openly supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in Iran and because the West was distracted by the turbulence in Iran that followed the revolution. Governments both in the West and in the region were concerned that the Iranian revolution would be “exported,” and they set about eliminating that threat. When Ayatollah Khomeini called upon Muslims in Iraq to follow the example of the Iranian people and rise up against the corrupt secular Baʿthist socialist regime, they interpreted it as the first step in the spread of Islamic radicalism that would eventually lead to the destabilization of the whole region.

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