Musa al- Sadr

(d. 1978)

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(d. 1978?)

Iranian cleric and leader of the Shii movement Harakat al-Mahrumin in Lebanon. Educated in Qom, Iran. Moved to Lebanon in 1959, where he took on the role of charismatic mullah. Asserted the need for social and political activism rather than quiet scholarship and prayer. Used the central myths of Shiism, particularly the martyrdom of Husayn, to spur his followers to action, transforming the Lebanese Shiis from a passive persecuted minority to a politically active and assertive social force seeking to confront tyranny and injustice, particularly poor schools, nonexistent public services, and government neglect. Linked the peasant majority with the upper-class minority in the formation of Harakat al-Mahrumin as the largest and most effective Shii political organization in Lebanon. Supported ecumenism, particularly with the Maronite Christians of Lebanon. His mysterious disappearance in 1978 during a visit to Libya led to his symbolic association with the Shii Hidden Imam.

See also Harakat al-Mahrumin

Subjects: Islam.

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