Harith al-Dhari

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Harith al-Dhari
Harith al-Dhari.jpg
Native name
حارث الضاري
Died12 March 2015[1] (aged 74)
ResidenceBaghdad, Cairo, Amman
Chairman of the 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) (b. 1941 – 12 March 2015) was an Iraqi 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.


Dhari's funeral at the King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque in Amman

Harith al-Dhari was educated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He later worked in the Islamic Law department of Baghdad University.[2]

Iraqi politics[edit]

Al-Dhari has been an outspoken critic of the foreign military presence in Iraq and has said that he approves of the Sunni 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.

In May 2007 Al-Dhari did an interview with Time, taking a stand in opposition to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also in opposition to the US occupation and the Maliki government.[3] In July 2007 Al-Dhari did an interview with Al Jazeera Live channel, which stated that Al-Qaeda in Iraq killed 50 members of his family.

Arrest warrant[edit]

On November 16, 2006 Iraq's interior minister Jawad al-Bolani 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 sectarian 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."[4][5][6]

In his speech on July 2, 2006, Osama Bin Laden praised Al-Dhari.[7]


  1. ^ الشيخ حارث الضاري في ذمة الله, Al Jazeera, 12 March 2015
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Profile of al-Dhari by al-Jazeera
  3. ^ "Al-Qaeda Loses an Iraqi Friend". Time. May 14, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Arrest of Sunni leader sought in Iraq". Archived from the original on 2006-11-18.
  5. ^ Semple, Kirk (November 17, 2006). "Iraq Issues Arrest Warrant for a Prominent Sunni Cleric". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Roug, Louise; Daragahi, Borzou (2006-11-17). "Sunni cleric's arrest sought". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  7. ^ "Bin Laden's Speeches 2003-2006". MEMRI. Retrieved 2017-11-30.