Harith al-Dhari

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Harith al-Dhari
حارث الضاري
Born 1941
Residence Baghdad, Cairo, Amman
Occupation cleric, chairman of Association of Muslim Scholars

Sheikh Harith Sulayman al-Dhari (al-Dari) or Harith ibn Sulayman ibn Dhari al-Zoba'i al-shamri (Arabic: حارث الضاري‎) (born in 1941 in Anbar in Al Zaidan district, Iraq) is a Sunni Arab cleric, and chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars. He is also leader of the Zoba' tribe. An outspoken critic of the American invasion of Iraq, he is known as "the Spiritual Leader of the Iraqi Resistance" (Insurgency). His father and grandfather killed British Colonel Gerard Leachman and played a part in the 1920 revolution against British imperial rule, which was the fiercest in the Shi'ite south, and was a seminal moment of unity between Iraq's Sunnis, Shi'ites, and Kurds that forced the British to allow a form of self-rule.


Harith al-Dhari was educated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He later worked in the Islamic Law Department of Baghdad University.[1]

Role in Iraqi politics[edit]

Harith al-Dhari has been an outspoken critic of the foreign military presence in Iraq, and has said that he approves of the armed resistance in the absence of a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops. This stance has won him support among Sunni Arabs and respect among the rebels.

On November 16, 2006 Iraq's interior minister Jawad al-Bolani (a Shi'a) announced that an arrest warrant had been issued from the state's judicial system for al-Dhari, who then lived between Cairo and Amman, on charges of inciting violence. "The government's policy is that anyone who tries to spread division and strife among the Iraq people will be chased by our security agencies,".[2][3][4] In his speech on July 2, 2006, Osama Bin Laden praised Al-Dhari.[5]

In May 2007 Harith al-Dhari did an interview with Time magazine, taking a stand in opposition to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also in opposition to the US occupation and the Maliki government.[6]

In July 2007 Harith al-Dhari did an interview with Al Jazeera Live channel, which announced that Al-Qaeda in Iraq killed 50 members from his family.