Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ezzedine Salim, Arabic عزالدين سليم, also known as Abdelzahra Othman Mohammed (1943 - 17 May 2004), was an Iraqi politician. Born in the city of Basra, he began studying religion and politics at a young age. At the age of 19 he joined the Shiite group Hizb al dawa , whose members were quickly noticed by the Baath Party as a threat to their power. He left Iraq in his early twenties to go and live in Kuwait, where he became a teacher.
After a short time in Kuwait, he went to Iran where he began his career as an editor in many newspapers as well as his main job in the SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq). During his stay in Iran, he gained recognition as a Mujtahid (a high-ranking Islamic scholar). He wrote over 40 books covering topics ranging from religion to politics.
Salim headed the Daawa al islamiyah ("Invitation to Islam") party, an Islamist party officially being referred to (in 2004) as Daawa Islamic Party. Known as a writer, philosopher, thinker and political activist, he started his political party as a vehicle to coordinate opposition against Saddam Hussein. The party was quickly recognized as a strong anti-Saddam group. It gained many supporters over the years, and became respected not only in Iraq, Iran and the Middle East but throughout the world.
He survived numerous assassination attempts by Saddam's followers, and deliberately changed his name to avoid being tracked.
In July 2003, Salim was given a position on the Iraqi Governing Council by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, where he was serving as a crucial member. At a "town hall" meeting with press and public, April 25, 2004, he was asked whether Iraq could retain its identity as an Arab nation under a democracy. Ezzedine Salim responded, “Iraq is a member of the Arab League, but all are represented here now, including Turkmen, Kurds and Christians for example. Iraq is full of diversity.”
He became president of the Council on May 1, 2004. Ezzedine Salim was to serve as Council President until the formal handover of power to a new government on June 30. However, he was killed by a car bomb near the Green Zone on May 17, 2004 in an attack blamed on a suicide bomber.
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