People have been asking me about the slain president of the Interim Governing Council, Ezzedin Salim (Izz al-Din Salim). The best profile I have found is a compilation of newswire reports at a South African site. He is said to have been a founding member of the Shiite al-Da`wa Party in 1958 when he was 18 and teaching history at Basra. He fled Iraq in 1980 for Kuwait and then Tehran, when Saddam made al-Da`wa Party membership a capital crime.
I looked him up in OCLC Worldcat and found two Arabic books by him. One, published in 1982 in Tehran, was about the “Line of the Imam Khomeini” and it appears that at that point Salim had become a Khomeinist. Another, in 1990, was a general book of essays about the Shiite Islamic “rennaissance,” published in Beirut. We have it but, alas, in storage, and anyway his views probably changed.
I wrote on September 30, 2003:
“Although the IGC itself is largely secular or moderate, having been appointed by the Americans, many, many Iraqis want the constitution to be based on Islamic law. Izz al-Din Salim, a former member of the Shiite al-Da`wa Party from Basra, called “unlikely” the prospect that the constitution would be based on Islamic law or shariah, according to al-Zaman. (The Basra branch of al-Da`wa is said to have rejected Khomeini’s notion of the rule of the jurisprudent, and Salim may in any case now be an independent). He added that the constitution must recognize the pluralism and religious diversity of Iraq.”
So, he seems to have given up his earlier enthusiasm for Khomeinism by the time he got on the Interim Governing Council.
He is the third IGC member to be assassinated, after Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and Aqilah al-Hashimi, all three of them Shiites.