Mahmoud al-Mashhadani

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Mahmoud al-Mashhadani
محمود المشهداني
محمود المشهداني.png
Speaker of ذthe Iraqi Parliament
In office
22 April 2006 – 23 December 2008
President Jalal Talabani
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Preceded by Hajim al-Hassani
Succeeded by Ayad al-Samarrai
Personal details
Born (1948-05-20) 20 May 1948 (age 66)
Baghdad, Iraq
Political party Iraqi Accord Front
Other political
affiliations
Al-Wataniya Coalition (2012-Present)[1]
Alma mater College of Medicine University of Baghdad
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Service/branch Iraqi Army
Years of service 1975-1990
Rank Major
Unit Army Medical Corps
Battles/wars Kurdish–Iraqi conflict
Iran-Iraq War

Dr. Mahmoud Dawud al-Mashhadani (Arabic: محمود المشهداني‎) is an Iraqi politician and a former Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives.[2] He was elected to the Council of Representatives as part of the Sunni Arab-led Iraqi Accord Front list.

Personal life[edit]

Born in 1948 in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad, he went to school in al-Khadhimiyah and graduated from Baghdad Medical College in 1972. He joined the medical corps of the Iraqi Army as a Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Army Major. He was imprisoned for opposing the First Gulf War in 1990 and sentenced to death, which was commuted to 15 years after payment of bribes. He was a founding member of the Iraqi National Dialogue Council.

Deeply religious, Dr. al-Mashhadani is a Salafi Muslim. Salafis believe that Islam became corrupted after the death of the first three generations of Muslims from the time of the Prophet, and any practices that postdate that time are viewed as heretical. They are most closely associated with the similar Wahhabi school predominate in Saudi Arabia, and are likewise seen by many Westerners as “puritanical” in an Islamic sense.

Political Work[edit]

He was nominated to the speakership by the IAF after the main coalition in the Council of Representatives, the United Iraqi Alliance, objected to the nomination of Tariq Al-Hashimi. He was nominated as part of a deal on government posts between the IAF, UIA and Kurdistani Alliance. He was unanimously elected to the speakership on April 22, 2006, receiving 159 votes against 97 spoilt and 10 abstentions.

In June 2006, he met with U.S. President George W. Bush during Bush's "surprise visit" to Iraq. Upon his return to Washington, Bush said the following about Mashhadani at a press conference:

The Sunni—I was impressed, by the way, by the Speaker—Denny Hastert told me I'd like him; Denny met with him. And I was impressed by him. He's a fellow that had been put in prison by Saddam and, interestingly enough, put in prison by us. And he made a decision to participate in the government. And he was an articulate person. He talked about running the parliament. It was interesting to see a person that could have been really bitter talk about the skills he's going to need to bring people together to run the parliament. And I found him to be a hopeful person.

They tell me that he wouldn't have taken my phone call a year ago—I think I might have shared this with you at one point in time—and there I was, sitting next to the guy. And I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a refreshing moment.[3]

According to senior Iraq government officials, Dr. Mashhadani had been imprisoned by the United States because of his affiliations with Ansar al-Islam and Jaish Ansar al-Sunna in 2004.[3]

In July 2006 Mashhadani told Al-Sharqiyah television the killings and kidnappings were the fault of "Jews, Israelis and Zionists...using Iraqi money and oil to frustrate the Islamic movement in Iraq".[4] He said the perpetrators were linked to Mossad and received their orders from Tel Aviv. He warned "the day will come when we purge our country of them".[5] In that same interview, after being told about the kidnapping of a Sunni parliament member, Mashhadani replied with "Why kidnap this Muslim woman? Instead of Tayseer, why not kidnap Margaret or Jwan?", Margaret referring to Assyrian Christians and Jwan referring to Kurds.[6] In late July 2006 at a speech before a UN-sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad he said "Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right." Later, in the same speech, he added, " What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people." He also added comments criticizing Israeli military action in Lebanon.[7]

On September 6, 2006, Mashhadani expressed grave concern for the government of Iraq if its attempts at national reconciliation fail. "We have three to four months, and if the country does not survive this, the boat will sink," he said.[8]

On June 10, 2007, political blocs in Iraq agreed to replace Mashhadani, most likely with another Sunni lawmaker. The consensus was reached after reports that Mashhadani's bodyguards assaulted a Shi'ite legislator, the culmination of a series of "thuggish" acts by the speaker.[9] Mashhadani had also controversially called suicide bombers who kill Americans "heroes".[10]

On December 17, 2008 he announced that he would resign over the chaos that had erupted in parliament among legislators over whether Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush at a December 14 press conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, should be freed from jail.[11] The Iraqi Parliament accepted his resignation on December 23.[12]

Preceded by
 Hajim al-Hassani
  Iraqi Head of Parliament
 April, 2006 - December 2008  
Succeeded by
Ayad al-Samarrai

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.alsharqiya.com/?p=123903
  2. ^ Jeering Shiites reject Iraq Baathist bill
  3. ^ a b Galbraith, Peter. "Mindless in Iraq", New York Review of Books, 2006-08-10. Retrieved 2006-07-31.
  4. ^ Associated Press. "Parliament speaker blames Iraqi violence on 'Jews'", Jamaica Observer, 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
  5. ^ Ridolfo, Kathleen. "Iraq: Sectarian militias blocking the road to security", ReliefWeb, 2006-06-12. Retrieved 2006-06-14.
  6. ^ Cihan News Agency. "Pamphlets Warn Christians in Dora and Mashtal Districts", Zinda, 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
  7. ^ "Yahoo News". Retrieved 2006-06-25.
  8. ^ Tawfeeq, Mohammed. "Parliament speaker: Iraq has months to avert collapse", CNN, 2006-06-10. Retrieved 2006-10-08.
  9. ^ "ProQuest Information and Learning". Retrieved 2007-06-11.
  10. ^ NPR: Iraqi Parliament Pulls Together as Break Looms
  11. ^ Butcher, Tim (17 December 2008). "Fears for shoe-throwing journalist as he fails to appear in court". The Daily Telegraph (Baghdad). Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Dagher, Sam; G. Bowley (23 December 2008). "Iraqi Parliament Accepts Speaker’s Resignation". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2008. 

External links[edit]