|Leader of the Sadrist Movement|
|Assumed office |
5 December 2003
|Preceded by||Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr|
|Born||4 August 1974|
|Political party||Sadrist Movement|
|Residence||Sadr City, Najaf, Iraq|
|Religion||Twelver Shia Islam|
Muqtada al-Sadr (Arabic: مقتدى الصدر, romanized: Muqtadā ṣ-Ṣadr; born 4 August 1974) is an Iraqi Shia cleric, politician and militia leader. He is the leader of the Sadrist Movement and the leader of the Peace Companies, a Shia militia that is a reformation of the previous militia he led during the American military presence in Iraq, the Mahdi Army. There were reports on 7 December 2019 of an armed drone attack on Sadr.
He belongs to the prominent Sadr family that hails from Jabal Amel in Lebanon, before later settling in Najaf. Al-Sadr is the son of Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, an Iraqi religious figure and politician who stood against Saddam Hussein, and the nephew of Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr. He is often styled with the honorific title Sayyid.
His formal religious standing within the Shi'i clerical hierarchy is comparatively mid-ranking. As a result of this, in 2008 al-Sadr claimed for himself neither the title of mujtahid (the equivalent of a senior religious scholar) nor the authority to issue any fatwas. In early 2008, he was reported to be studying to be an ayatollah, something that would greatly improve his religious standing.
Muqtada al-Sadr is the fourth son of a famous Iraqi Shi'a cleric, the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr. He is also the son-in-law of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. Both were revered for their concern for the poor.
Muqtada al-Sadr is Iraqi, His great-grandfather is Ismail as-Sadr. Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr's father, was a respected figure throughout the Shi'a Islamic world. He was murdered, along with two of his sons, allegedly by the government of Saddam Hussein. Muqtada's father-in-law was executed by the Iraqi authorities in 1980. Muqtada is a cousin of the disappeared Musa al-Sadr, the Iranian-Lebanese founder of the popular Amal Movement.
Muqtada al-Sadr gained popularity in Iraq following the toppling of the Saddam government by the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Al-Sadr has on occasion stated that he wishes to create an "Islamic democracy".
Al-Sadr commands strong support (especially in the Sadr City district in Baghdad, formerly named Saddam City but renamed after the elder al-Sadr). After the fall of the Saddam government in 2003, Muqtada al-Sadr organized thousands of his supporters into a political movement, which includes a military wing known as the Jaysh al-Mahdi or Mahdi Army. The name refers to the Mahdi, a long-since disappeared Imam who is believed by Shi'a Muslims to be due to reappear when the end of time approaches. This group periodically engaged in violent conflict with the United States and other Coalition forces, while the larger Sadrist movement has formed its own religious courts, and organized social services, law enforcement, and prisons in areas under its control. Western media often referred to Muqtada al-Sadr as an "anti-American" or "radical" cleric.
His strongest support came from the class of dispossessed Shi'a, like in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. Many Iraqi supporters see in him a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation. The Mahdi army operated deaths squads during the Iraq civil war.
In a statement received by AFP on 15 February 2014, Sadr announced the closure of all offices, centers and associations affiliated with Al-Shaheed Al-Sadr, his father, inside and outside Iraq, and announced his non-intervention in all political affairs, adding that no bloc will represent the movement inside or outside the government or parliament. Several times he has called for all paramilitary groups recognised by the Iraqi state to be dissolved after the complete defeat of ISIL and that all foreign forces (including Iran) then leave Iraqi territory. He surprised many when he visited the crown princes of both Saudi Arabia, for the first time in 11 years, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2017 and earlier and was criticized in some Iranian circles. In April 2017, he distinguished himself from other Iraqi Shiite leaders in calling on Iranian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and save the country from more bloodshed. Al-Sadr's efforts to strengthen relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq mirror those of former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Muqtada is widely suspected of ordering numerous assassinations against high-ranking Shi'ite clergy, including a 2003 bombing of the house of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Saeed al-Hakim, and the 10 April 2003 murder of Grand Ayatollah Abdul-Majid al-Khoei at a mosque in Najaf. On 13 October 2003, fighting broke out in Karbala, when al-Sadr's men attacked supporters of moderate Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani near the Imam Hussein shrine.
Opposition to the US presence
Shortly after the US-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath regime, al-Sadr voiced opposition to the Coalition Provisional Authority. He subsequently stated that he had more legitimacy than the Coalition-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. He granted his first major Western television interview to Bob Simon of 60 Minutes, in which al-Sadr famously said "Saddam was the little serpent, but America is the big serpent."
In May 2003, al-Sadr issued a fatwa that became known as the al-Hawasim (meaning the finalists – a term used to refer to the looters of post-invasion Iraq) fatwa. The fatwa allowed theft and racketeering on the condition that the perpetrators pay the requisite khums to Sadrist imams, saying that "looters could hold on to what they had appropriated so long as they made a donation (khums) of one-fifth of its value to their local Sadrist office." The fatwa alienated many older members of his father's movement, as well as mainstream Shiites, and the Shia establishment and property-owning classes from the Sadrists. However, the fatwa strengthened his popularity among the poorest members of society, notably in Sadr City. It has been claimed that the original fatwa was actually issued by al-Sadr's advisor Grand Ayatollah Kazem Husseini Haeri, and that al-Sadr was simply loyally issuing the same instruction.
In his 2004 sermons and public interviews, al-Sadr repeatedly demanded an immediate withdrawal of all US-led coalition forces, all foreign troops under United Nations control, and the establishment of a new central Iraqi government, not connected to the Ba'ath party or the Allawi government.
In late March 2004, Coalition authorities (759th MP Battalion) in Iraq shut down Sadr's newspaper al-Hawza on charges of inciting violence. Sadr's followers held demonstrations protesting the closure of the newspaper. On 4 April, fighting broke out in Najaf, Sadr City, and Basra. Sadr's Mahdi Army took over several points and attacked coalition soldiers, killing dozens of foreign soldiers, and taking many casualties of their own in the process. At the same time, Sunni rebels in the cities of Baghdad, Samarra, Ramadi, and, most notably, Fallujah, staged uprisings as well, causing the most serious challenge to coalition control of Iraq up to that time.
That day, al-Sadr called for a jihad against coalition forces. To do this he needed to gain temporary control of Al Kut, An Najaf and the suburb of Baghdad named after his grandfather, Sadr City. On the night of 8 April, his Mahdi Army dropped eight overspans and bridges around the Convoy Support Center Scania, thus severing northbound traffic into Baghdad. The next day his militia ambushed any and every convoy trying to get in or out of Baghdad International Airport, known to the soldiers as BIAP. This led to the worst convoy ambush of the war, the ambush of the 724th Transportation Company (POL), which resulted in eight KBR drivers killed and three soldiers killed. One was Matt Maupin, who was initially listed as the first American soldier missing in action. These series of attacks demonstrated an unexpected level of sophistication in planning. The Mahdi Army knew it could not win a head on fight with the United States military coalition and it took full advantage of a major coalition vulnerability by attacking convoy trucks that supplied the troops. BIAP was where the newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division drew its supplies. The 1st Cavalry Division was replacing the 1st Armored Division in and around Baghdad. The 1st Armored Division had already been deployed to Iraq for a year. CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid decided to extend the Division beyond its 1-year deployment, for an additional 120 days, to use in the fight against the Mahdi Army. On 11 April, the Mahdi Army launched an attack on the southwest wall at BIAP behind which several hundred trucks parked. By the end of April, the American 1st Armored Division had suppressed the Mahdi Army's uprising but al Sadr had achieved his goal of making it a significant resistance force fighting against the U.S. led coalition forces occupying Iraq.
It is generally frowned upon in Iraq for clerics to actively participate in secular politics, and like the other leading religious figures, Muqtada al-Sadr did not run in the 2005 Iraqi elections. It is believed he implicitly backed the National Independent Cadres and Elites party that was closely linked with the Mahdi Army. Many of his supporters, however, backed the far more popular United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) of al-Sistani.
On 26 August 2005, an estimated 100,000 Iraqis marched in support of al-Sadr and his ideals.
On 25 March 2006, Muqtada al-Sadr was in his home and escaped a mortar attack; this attack was disputed, as the ordnance landed more than 50 meters from his home.
Sadr's considerable leverage was apparent early in the week of 16 October 2006, when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the release of one of Sadr's senior aides. The aide had been arrested a day earlier by American troops on suspicion of participating in kidnappings and killings.
On 13 February, several sources in the US government claimed that Muqtada al-Sadr had left Iraq and fled to Iran in anticipation of the coming security crackdown. US military spokesman Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell reinforced this account on 14 February, but a member of Iraq's parliament and an aide to al-Sadr have denied the claims.
On 30 March it was reported that al-Sadr, through clerics speaking on his behalf, "delivered a searing speech ... condemning the American presence in Iraq ... [and] call[ing] for an anti-occupation mass protest on April 9...." This call to protest was significant in that, since the beginning of the American troop surge (which began on 14 February 2007), al-Sadr had ordered his "militia to lie low during the new Baghdad security plan so as not to provoke a direct confrontation with the Americans".
In a statement stamped with al-Sadr's official seal and distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf a day before the demonstration, on Sunday, 8 April 2007, Muqtada al-Sadr urged the Iraqi army and police to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerilla fighters to concentrate on pushing American forces out of the country. "You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your arch-enemy," the statement said.
On 17 April 2007, several ministers loyal to al-Sadr left the Iraqi government. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated that the withdrawal of these ministers had not weakened his government and that he would name technocrats to replace them soon.
On 25 April 2007, al-Sadr condemned the construction of Azamiyah wall around a Sunni neighbourhood in Baghdad, by calling for demonstrations against the plan as a sign of "the evil will" of American "occupiers"
On 25 May 2007, al-Sadr delivered a sermon to an estimated 6,000 followers in Kufa. Sadr reiterated his condemnation of the United States' occupation of Iraq and demanded the withdrawal of foreign forces, al-Sadr's speech also contained calls for unity between Sunni and Shi'a. In June 2007, al-Sadr vowed to go ahead with a planned march to the devastated Askariyya shrine in central Iraq, al-Sadr said the march was aimed at bringing Shi'is and Sunnis closer together and breaking down the barriers imposed by the Americans and Sunni religious extremists.
In a statement issued 29 August 2007, Muqtada al-Sadr announced that an order to stand down for six months had been distributed to his loyalists following the deaths of more than 50 Shia Muslim pilgrims during fighting in Karbala the day before. The statement issued by Sadr's office in Najaf said: "I direct the Mahdi army to suspend all its activities for six months until it is restructured in a way that helps honour the principles for which it is formed." The intention behind the ceasefire was thought in part to be to allow al-Sadr reassert control over the movement, which is thought to have splintered. "We call on all Sadrists to observe self-restraint, to help security forces control the situation and arrest the perpetrators and sedition mongers, and urge them to end all forms of armament in the sacred city," said the statement, referring to the 28 August clashes in Karbala. Asked if the unexpected order meant no attacks on American troops, as well as a ban on Shia infighting, a senior al-Sadr aide said: "All kinds of armed actions are to be frozen, without exception."
In August 2008, al-Sadr ordered most of his militiamen to disarm but said he will maintain elite fighting units to resist the Americans if a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops is not established. "Weapons are to be exclusively in the hands of one group, the resistance group," while another group called Momahidoun is to focus on social, religious and community work, Sadrist cleric Mudhafar al-Moussawi said.
In response to Israeli attacks on Gaza, al-Sadr called for reprisals against US troops in Iraq: "I call upon the honest Iraqi resistance to carry out revenge operations against the great accomplice of the Zionist enemy."
On 1 May 2009, al-Sadr paid a surprise visit to Ankara where, in his first public appearance for two years, he met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks that focused on the "political process" and requested Turkey play a greater role in establishing stability in the Middle East. Spokesman Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi confirmed the nature of the talks that had been requested by al-Sadr and stated, "Turkey is a good, old friend. Trusting that, we had no hesitation in travelling here." After the meeting al-Sadr visited supporters in Istanbul, where al-Obeidi says they may open a representative office.
In a press conference on 6 March 2010, ahead of the 2010 Iraqi parliamentary election, Muqtada al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to participate in the election and support those who seek to expel US troops out of the country. Al-Sadr warned that any interference by the United States will be unacceptable.
On 5 January 2011, Muqtada al-Sadr returned to the Iraqi city of Najaf, in order to take a more proactive and visible role in the new Iraqi government. Three days later, thousands of Iraqis turned out in Najaf to hear his first speech since his return, in which he called the US, Israel, and the UK "common enemies" against Iraq. His speech was greeted by the crowd chanting "Yes, yes for Muqtada! Yes, yes for the leader!" while waving Iraqi flags and al-Sadr's pictures. Subsequently, he returned to Iran to continue his studies.
By late 2011, it appeared that the United States would largely withdraw from Iraq, a demand that helped make Sadr a popular leader amongst supporters almost immediately following the invasion. Sadr also controlled the largest bloc of parliament, and had reached a sort of détente with prime minister Nouri al Maliki, who needed Sadrist support to retain his post.
On 5 January 2011 al-Sadr returned from Iran, to Najaf, having spent four years out of the country after vowing never to return unless the American military forces left.
Prior to his arrival in Najaf, he had been instrumental in the formation of the 2011 Iraqi government and six years later condemned Trump government open support of Israeli claims about Jerusalem and advocated the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad due to American announcements related to their forthcoming embassy move in Israel which he saw as a 'declaration of war on Islam.'
Following the US withdrawal from Iraq, al-Sadr continued to be an influential figure in Iraqi politics, associated with the Al-Ahrar bloc, whose Shi'a factions are still at war with not only the government but also the Sunni factions. However, whereas during the war al-Sadr was known for advocating violence, in 2012 he began to present himself as a proponent of moderation and tolerance and called for peace.
In February 2014, al-Sadr announced that he was withdrawing from politics and dissolving the party structure to protect his family's reputation.
However, later in 2014, he called for the formation of "Peace Companies", often mistranslated "Peace Brigades", to protect Shia shrines from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In June, these Peace Companies marched in Sadr City. In addition to guarding shrines, the Peace Companies participated in offensive operations such as the recapture of Jurf Al Nasr in October 2014. They suspended their activities temporarily in February 2015, but were active in the Second Battle of Tikrit in March.
Sadr is considered a populist by Western observers. In 2015 he entered into an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party and other secular groups "under an umbrella of security and corruption concerns", both long-standing issues of daily life in the country. In March 2015, Sadr criticized the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, saying that "It [Saudi invasion of Yemen] is at odds with Islamic-Arabic unity".
On 26 February 2016, Sadr led a one million-strong demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square to protest corruption in Iraq and the government's failure to deliver on reforms. "Abadi must carry out grassroots reform," Sadr said in front of the protesters. "Raise your voice and shout so the corrupt get scared of you," he encouraged the people. On 18 March, Sadr's followers began a sit-in outside the Green Zone, a heavily fortified district in Baghdad housing government offices and embassies. He called the Green Zone "a bastion of support for corruption". On 27 March, he walked into the Green Zone to begin a sit-in, urging followers to stay outside and remain peaceful. He met with Abadi on 26 December to discuss the reform project he proposed during protests early in the year. Following the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in Syria on 4 April 2017, Sadr called for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down. In July 2017, Sadr visited Saudi Arabia and met Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
In April 2018, Sadr wrote: "I am ready to intervene between the Islamic Republic (Iran) and Kingdom Saudi Arabia to resolve some issues, even gradually, and that is for nothing but the best of Iraq and the region."
In May 2018, al-Sadr's Sairoon electoral list won 54 seats in the first Iraqi parliamentary election since the Islamic State was declared defeated in Iraq. He rejected U.S. interference in the formation of the new Iraqi government, saying: "The U.S. is an invader country; we do not allow it to interfere" in Iraqi affairs. In a country riven by sectarian tensions and regional politics, Sadr has transformed himself again: He has now positioned himself as an Iraqi nationalist; allied himself with communists, Sunnis, and political independents; criticized Iran’s outsized influence in Iraq; and strongly criticized the sectarian nature of Iraq’s politics. Following the May 2018 elections the son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and General Soleimani lobbied al-Sadr and others to forge a political coalition allied with Tehran.
After the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and the Iraqi parliament's resolution favouring expulsion of US troops, the Iraqi Shia leader called for "the immediate cancellation of the security agreement with the US, the closure of the US embassy, the expulsion of US troops in a 'humiliating manner', and criminalizing communication with the US government". Following the 8 January 2020 Iranian rocket attacks on US led military bases, however, al-Sadr held back and urged his followers not to attack U.S. elements in Iraq.
- "بطاقة الناخب مقتدى الصدر". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Hamza Mustafa (18 February 2014). "Iraq: Sadrist resignations threaten new political crisis". Asharq Al-Awsat. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "بطاقة الناخب مقتدى الصدر". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
- Hroub, Khaled (28 May 2012). Political Islam: Context Versus Ideology. Saqi. ISBN 978-0-86356-883-1.
- Armed drone targets home of Iraqi cleric - report
- "Profile: Muqtada al-Sadr". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Babak Dehghanpisheh (19 January 2008). "The Great Moqtada Makeover". Newsweek. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- al-Ali, Zaid (21 August 2017). "Post-ISIL Iraq: Decoding Muqtada al-Sadr's Gulf visits". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Arraf, Jane (3 May 2017). "Moqtada al-Sadr: In Iraq, a fiery cleric redefines himself as nationalist patriot". CSMonitor. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Samer Bazzi – The Lebanese Armageddon in the New Iraq". Bintjbeil.com. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Cockburn, Patrick (21 October 2008). Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq. Simon and Schuster. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-4391-4119-9.
- Beaumont, Peter (14 May 2018). "Iraq elections: who is Moqtadr al-Sadr?". the Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Adams, Henry (12 January 2005). "The U.S. Is Not Preventing Chaos in Iraq, It Is Creating It". United for Peace of Pierce County, WA. Archived from the original on 10 April 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2006.
- "The Mahdi Army: Turbans, Kalashnikovs and plans to ′slaughter′". Deutsche Welle. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Defining Muqtada". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Who's Who in Iraq: Moqtada Sadr". BBC News. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2006.
- "REPORT: Key Shiite Iraqi cleric says he quits politics". Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- MEE staff (4 August 2017). "Muqtada al-Sadr 'bans anti-Saudi slogans from Iraqi streets'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- IRAQ’S SHIITES UNDER OCCUPATION Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, International Crisis Group, 9 September 2003
- Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq by Patrick Cockburn. Quoted in Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq by Patrick Cockburn. The Wild Card - A Review by Dexter Filkins
- ""60 Minutes Wednesday" Muqtada al-Sadr's Battle Against the U.S. (TV Episode 2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Cockburn, p. 130.
- Erik A. Claessen (2010). "6". Stalemate: An Anatomy of Conflicts Between Democracies, Islamists, and Muslim Autocrats (illustrated ed.). ABC-CLIO. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-313-38444-8.
- Williams, Phil (1 January 2009). "7". Criminals, Militias, and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq. Strategic Studies Institute. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-58487-397-6.
- Filiu, Jean-Pierre (2011). Apocalypse in Islam (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-520-26431-1.
- "Iraqi cleric Sadr retires from politics". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Muqtada Al Sadr And Sunnis Mickey Kaus". Informed Comment. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Bremer Brands Moqtada Sadr an Outlaw". Middle-East-online.com. 5 April 2004. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- "1st Armored Division's Iraq timeline". Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Army unit claims victory over sheik". The Washington Times. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Donald Wright, On Point II; Transition to the New Campaign; The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003-January 2005, Combat Studies Institute; Richard E. Killblane, Road Warriors, unpublished
- "Iraqi factions firm against constitution". Al Jazeera. 26 August 2005. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Semple, Kirk (20 October 2006). "Attack on Iraqi City Shows Militia's Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2006.
- Karadsheh, Jomana; Mohammed Tawfeeq; Barbara Starr (13 February 2007). "U.S.: Radical cleric al-Sadr in Iran". CNN. Archived from the original on 14 February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Londoño, Ernesto; Joshua Partlow (14 February 2007). "Iraqi Militia Leader Sadr in Iran, Say U.S. Officials". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Karadsheh, Jomana; Mohammed Tawfeeq; Barbara Starr (14 February 2007). "U.S. insists radical cleric in Iran despite denials". CNN. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Edward Wong. "Shiite Cleric Calls for Mass Protest Against U.S.", The New York Times (30 March 2007)
- Abdul-Ameer, Kawther; Mussab Al-Khairalla (17 April 2007). "Government not weakened by Sadr pullout". Independent Online (South Africa). Retrieved 17 April 2007.
- "Al-Sadr Calls for U.S. Pullout from Iraq". China Daily. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- McElroy, Damien (30 August 2007). "Moqtada al-Sadr announces ceasefire in Iraq". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Peaceful Iraq protests spark clashes; 50 reported dead". CNN. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Al-Sadr Orders Militia To Disarm". CBS News. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Yanatma, Servet and Süleyman Kurt (2 May 2009). "Iraq's Sadr Meets Erdoğan". Today's Zaman.
- Çobanoğlu, Çağri (4 May 2009). "Iraq's Sadr Meets Erdoğan". Today's Zaman.
- "Iraqi Shia Leader Calls for U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq". Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). hamsayeh.net (7 March 2010).
- Sadr urges Iraqi voters to pave way for U.S. pull-out. Presstv.ir (6 March 2010). Retrieved on 2012-06-04.
- "Al-Sadr back in Iraq stronghold". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Al-Sadr calls on Iraqis 'to resist'". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Iraq: Sadr a Rising Force in Iraqi Politics". Pulitzer Center. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- Chulov, Martin. (5 January 2011). "Moqtada al-Sadr returns to Iraq after exile". The Guardian website Retrieved 5 January 2020.
- Frantzman, Seth J. (25 January 2017). "Iraqi Shia cleric Sadr condemns Trump, calls to liberate Jerusalem". Jerusalem Post website Retrieved 5 January 2020.
- Frud Bezhan (19 August 2013). "Reports Of Muqtada Al-Sadr's Political Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Eli Sugarman; Omar al-Nidawi (11 February 2013). "Back in Black: The Return of Muqtada al-Sadr". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Mustafa al-Khadimi (13 March 2013). "The New Muqtada al-Sadr Seeks Moderate Image". Iraqi Business News. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Cassandra Vinograd (23 June 2014). "Anti-U.S. Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Retakes Stage Amid Iraq Turmoil". NBC News. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "Iraqi Shia groups rally in show of power". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- Loveday Morris; Mustafa Salim (17 February 2015). "Iraqi Shiite cleric recalls militiamen from fight against Islamic State". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "Iraqi militia loyal to radical cleric al-Sadr joins fight for IS-held Tikrit". Global News. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- Issa | AP, Philip (14 May 2018). "Early results in Iraq election favor populist cleric al-Sadr". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Iraq's Fake Populism and Anti-sectarianism". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Iraq's Muqtada Sadr Warns S. Arabia to Immediately Halt Attacks on Yemen". Farsnews. 27 March 2015.
- "Shiite cleric Sadr leads 1 million man anti-gov't demonstration". Rudaw. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Iraq's Sadr spurns calls to drop sit-in over 'bastion of corruption'". Reuters. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Iraq's Sadr begins sit-in inside Green Zone, tells supporters to stay outside". Reuters. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Can public outcry in southern Iraq end Maliki's political ambitions?". Al-Monitor. 8 January 2017.
- "Sadr becomes first Iraqi Shi'ite leader to urge Assad to step down". Reuters. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "Powerful Iraqi Shite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls for Assad to step sown following chemical attack". Newsweek. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr makes rare Saudi visit". Al-Jazeera. 31 July 2017.
- "Al-Sadr says ready to mediate for better Saudi-Iran relations". Iraqi News. 10 April 2018.
- TRT World. Iraq Elections: Kirkuk hopes to heal deep divisions. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Reuters (19 May 2018). "Who Is Moqtada al-Sadr? The Big Winner of Iraq's Elections Who Attacked U.S. Troops". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Muqtada al-Sadr Rejects Iran and U.S. Meddling in Formation of Iraqi Govt". Al Bawaba. 29 May 2018.
- "A Shia Cleric's Radical Vision for Iraq". The Atlantic. 11 May 2018.
- Abdul-Zahra, Qassim and Salaheddin, Sanan. (24 June 2018). "In about-face, Iraq’s maverick al-Sadr moves closer to Iran". AP News website Retrieved 5 January 2020.
- Al Jazeera News. (5 January 2020). "Iraqi parliament calls for expulsion of foreign troops". Al Jazeera News Retrieved 5 January 2020.
- "Top cleric urges supporters not to attack US as Donald Trump says regime has backed down". The Telegraph. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- Irena L. Sargsyan & Andrew Bennett. 2016. "Discursive Emotional Appeals in Sustaining Violent Social Movements in Iraq, 2003–11." Security Studies