Published in

Middle East Institute, Middle East Journal, 3(75), p. 365-385, 2021

DOI: 10.3751/75.3.11



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The Roots of the Sadrist Movement: Muhammad al-Sadr, Religious Authority, and Sociopolitical Practice

Journal article published in 2021 by Harith Hasan
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Based on Ba'th Party archival records, interviews, and secondary sources, this article aims to reconstruct and contextualize the story of Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, the Shi'i cleric who led a grassroots religious movement in the 1990s that still plays a major role in Iraq. The article argues that the Sadrist movement and its project of social Islamization were a result of Sadr's enlistment of grassroots support to challenge his rivals in the Shi'i religious field during a leadership vacuum amid the decline of the clerical establishment's influence.