Ayad Jamal Aldin, Ahrar Party Leader
Ayad Jamal Al-Din is a young cleric, best known for his consistent campaigning for a new, secular Iraq. He first rose to prominence in March 2003, when he called for a state free of religion, the turban and other theological symbols. In 2005, he was elected as one of 25 MPs on the Iraqi National List, but withdrew in 2009 after becoming disenchanted with Ayad Allawi’s overtures to Iran. He is now the leader of Ahrar party, standing in the 2010 election for the Council of Representatives. He is seeking to prevent external interference, especially from Iran, to clean up corruption and create a strong, secure and liberated Iraq for the future. This document explains his background, that of Ahrar and why he is contesting this election.
Ayad Jamal Al-Din was born in the holy city of Najaf in 1961, from the Arabic Family Adnania Hashemia Korashia. The Family is deeply rooted in literature, poetry, religion, judiciary and various sciences for more than Five hundred years.
Jamal Al-Din’s family is spread across various governorates, including Basra, Nasirya, Najaf, Karbala and Baghdad.
His father, Mr. Raouf Mohammed died in exile in 2004, he had written more than fifty books on Arabic language and its rules, principles of Islamic religion and jurisprudence. He completed his journey of enlightenment and learning at the age of eighty, a journey that began at the tender age of seven.
Ayad Jamal Al-Din was raised in an Iraqi najafee community and as a child he memorized Arabic pre-Islamic poetry. He loved Imam (Ali) and the Myrtle Imam (Al-Houssain) and he dreamt a lot about flying a plane over his city. However, the tragic death of his elder brother Mohammed, a pilot, made it impossible to follow that dream.
His first public appearance was at the age of 16, when he protested the Iraqi government’s banning Shia'a from visiting the shrine of Al-Imam Al-Housain, the son of Ali. He was heard shouting; “Saddam, tell Baker that all the people don’t want you” Saddam Hussein was, at the time, Vice President to Hassan Al-Baker.
Ayad Jamal Al-Din immigrated to Iran after the government began to conduct surveillance on him and his friends, putting many of his friends in prison. While in Iran, he studied Philosophy, Logic, the principles of Islamic religion, jurisprudence and was deeply interested in reading History and “Arabic Islamic” literature in the city of Qom for sixteen years. He obtained the level of “jurisprudence” in Islamic Religion and two years ago, he translated into Arabic a book entitled “Al-Mathnawee” for Jalal Al-Din Al-romee.
In the early years of the Islamic Revolution, Ayad Jamal Aldin was deeply impressed with Iran’s experiment in creating an Islamic State. However, his early admiration soon turned to uncertainty at the validity of a non-secular state, and finally to the position where he reached the conclusion that the people should never attempt to create a religious state (any people of any Religion), because humans make mistakes and those mistakes will infect the religion.
In spite of the fact that he had been raised as a cleric, it was in the cultural and scientific world that he lived. The study and research broadened his mind and made him a man with a vision; he knew from very early on that the problems that plague the Middle East lie in the lack of human rights.
Ayad Jamal al-Din is standing for election to end the use of Religion as a means to achieve political goals. His desire is not to have a secular state in order to reduce the role of God in our lives; rather to liberate religion from the state. He wants to see an end to the political sectarianism that pits Kurd against Turkmen and Shia'a Against Sunni, believing that “we have a shared history, and we have a shared destiny”. He has consistently argued that our freedom, tolerance and security walk hand-in-hand.
As a father of Six children – three boys and three girls – he is fighting this election for their future, and that of all the children in Iraq. He is sick of a country where a three year-old girl can tell the difference between different types of explosions. He is sick of a country where children are forced to work, because Instead of being in school they must help their families survive instead. He is sick of kids being born into a world of poverty and thirst, in the ‘land of two rivers’ that sits on top of a sea of oil. And that is why he formed Ahrar.
He formed Ahrar as new group that is open to everyone – women, men, the elderly, the disabled and the poor, and dispossessed. Rather than stoking people’s fears in order to retain control, Ahrar focuses on what unites people; that we are humans and Iraqis first and foremost. That each and every one of us has the right AND the responsibility to change our country for the better.
Ahrar campaigns for transparency, not corruption, for freedom, tolerance and respect. For drinkable water, electricity and a job for everyone in rebuilding our shattered country, and because our nation can only succeed if we come together as ONE Iraq.