Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

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Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim
سيد عبدالعزيز الحكيم
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim 2004-Jan-20.jpg
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
In office
1 December 2003 – 31 December 2003
Preceded by Jalal Talabani
Succeeded by Adnan Pachachi
Personal details
Born (1953-01-01)1 January 1953
Najaf, Iraq
Died 26 August 2009(2009-08-26) (aged 56)
Tehran, Iran
Political party United Iraqi Alliance
Supreme Islamic Council
Religion Shia Islam

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim (About this sound pronunciation  AHB-duhl ah-ZEES al hah-KEEM;needs IPA Arabic: سید عبد العزيز الحكيم‎; 1953 – 26 August 2009) was an Iraqi theologian and politician and the leader of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a party that has approximately 5% support in the Iraqi Council of Representatives.

He was a member of the United States-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and served as its president in December 2003. Brother of the Shia leader Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, he replaced him as leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq when Mohammed Baqir was assassinated in August 2003 in Najaf.


Family Tree

Sayyid Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is a member of the well known and highly respected Hakim Family of Shiite scholars.

Early life

He was born in 1953,1 the son of Grand Ayatollah Muhsin Al-Hakim. Raised in Najaf and then received his theological education through the religious school there, known as the Hawza. He was married to the daughter of Mohammed Hadi al-Sadr and he was the father of two girls and two boys. His son Muhsin Abdul Aziz al-Hakim was a political adviser for him, and his other son Ammar al-Hakim became the Secretary General of Al-Mihrab Martyr Foundation. Seven of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's brothers were killed, six of them on the orders of Saddam Hussein.

He played a leading role in the Safar Intifada in 1977 and was imprisoned in 1972, 1977 and 1979. He went into exile in Iran in 1980, where he was a founding member in 1982 of SIIC and headed their military wing, the Badr Organization. He was the top candidate listed for the United Iraqi Coalition during the first Iraqi legislative election of January 2005 but did not seek a government post because the Alliance had decided not to include theologians in the government.2

U.S. visits

On December 4, 2006, al-Hakim met with George W. Bush and made a commitment to help end violence,

We have gone a long way to establish a democratic and pluralistic society in Iraq ... We ... [believe in] a government that deals and will deal with all the sources of terrorism regardless where they come from.3

Al-Hakim also gave his assessment of the situation in Iraq:

The Iraqi situation has been subjected to a great deal of defamation, and the true picture is not being presented in order to show a dark side of what's happening in Iraq. We see the attempts to defame and distort the situation in Iraq not taking into consideration the democratic steps that that country has taken, writing the constitution and establishing a state that depends heavily on the constitution, that it is unified and that it is strong. There are attempts to show the sectarian strife in an attempt to weaken the position in Iraq.
al-Hakim meeting George W. Bush

On December 5, 2006, on behalf of The Catholic University of America and American University's Center for Global Peace, he spoke at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. The title of his speech was "Freedom and Tolerance in Shi'a Islam and the Future of Iraq". Notable guests at this event included Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Rabbi Professor Ephraim Isaac from the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.

Illness and death

On 16 May 2007 he flew to Houston for medical treatment. Reportedly he had lung cancer.4 On 20 May 2007, Hakim left the U.S. for Iran, in order to receive chemotherapy treatment.5 On 26 August 2009, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim died of lung cancer in a Tehran hospital.6 He was buried in Najaf on 29 August, on the same day and month as his brother, who was killed exactly six years earlier.7 Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanese Shia resistance group Hizbollah issued an emotional statement regarding the death of Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim. The statement spoke of the "struggle" of Al-Hakim to "rescue" and "uplift the Iraqi people." This drew criticism and calls of sectarianism from political commentator Asad Abukhalil due to the role of Abdul Aziz Al Hakim in the US occupation of Iraq.

References and notes

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim
Leader of the Islamic Supreme Council
Succeeded by
Ammar al-Hakim
Political offices
Preceded by
Jalal Talabani
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
Succeeded by
Adnan Pachachi

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