Moqtada al-Sadr: Iraq's powerful unpredictable cleric

Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr speaks during a press conference in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq on April 30, 2016Moqtada al-Sadr is the scion of an influential clerical family who raised a rebellion after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and has now reinvented himself as a reform champion. Sadr, who has a grey-streaked, bushy black beard and wears the black turban of a “sayyid” or descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, gained widespread popularity in the months after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Sadr’s intervention revitalised a moribund pro-reform protest movement, but it has also positioned him to wield a level of direct political influence that he has not had in years.

Share this article