Profile: Izz al-Din Salim

Izz al-Din Salim, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, is the most senior official in the interim body to be killed since the start of the US-led occupation.

    The late council president will be accorded a state funeral

    An experienced Shia politician who lived in exile for over 20 years, his real name was Abd al-Zahra Uthman Muhammad.

    Born in the southern city of Basra in 1940, Salim was working as a history teacher when he first became involved in politics.

    He was one of the founding members of the Islamic Dawa Party - one of the biggest Shia political movements in Iraq - which began in the late 1950s.

    The aim of the party, which was based on an association of Shia scholars in Najaf, was to stem the tide of what it saw as the pervasive influence of atheism and the Iraqi Communist movement.

    Beginning of exile

    During the 1980s, his party staged several assassination attempts on Saddam Hussein and many members were killed as a result.

    However, he was a firm believer that the pen was mightier than the sword and wrote extensively against the Baath Party in numerous publications.

    Salim fled to Iran, but once established there he broke from the Dawa Party and founded the Dawa Islamic Movement, Harakat Al-Dawa Al-Islamiyya.

    He still held the office of secretary-general of the party when he was killed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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