Kurdistan Islamic Movement

Kurdistan Islamic Movement
بزووتنةوي ئيسلامي لة كوردستان
Bizûtinewey Îslamî le Kurdistan
Leader Erfan Ali Abdulaziz
Founded 1979 (1979)
Headquarters Halabja
Ideology Kurdish nationalism,
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation Kurdish Brotherhood
Colours black
Seats in the Kurdistan Parliament:
1 / 111

The Kurdistan Islamic Movement (Kurdish: بزووتنةوي ئيسلامي لة كوردستان, or: Bizûtinewey Îslamî le Kurdistan) is an Islamist group founded in 1979 by Shaykh Uthman Abd-Aziz and several other Sunni mullahs who were all part of the non-political "Union of Religious Scholars" (Yaketi Mamostayani Ayni Islami). The party's main support comes from in and around that town of Halabjah. In the region controlled by the Islamic Movement in Kurdistan, the party established its own infrastructure but did not seek to apply Sharia law. Sheikh Uthman Abd al-Aziz was appointed as a mufti (religious judge) by the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan.

In the 1992 Iraqi Kurdistan elections the party received 5.1% of the vote, the third largest after the PUK and KDP. In 1993 the PUK ceded control of territory around Halabja, Tawella and Panjwin to the party after heavy fighting, and the party controlled Halabja from 1998 to 2000.

In 1998 al-Aziz moved to Irbil with a number of followers. After Abdal-Aziz's death in 1999 the leadership of the party passed to his brother Mullah Ali Abd al-Aziz Halabji, who has his office in Halabjah.

Armed hostilities, which resulted in deaths were reported between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Islamic Groups, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Workers Party, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. The heaviest fighting began in September 2001, when a newly created Islamist group, the Ansar al-Islam, seized control of some villages near the Iranian border and attempted to institute a strictly Islamist theocratic regime.

According to press and opposition reporting, the Ansar al-Islam attacked Patriotic Union of Kurdistan fighters near Halabjah, killing dozens of persons. Intermittent fighting between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and the Ansar al-Islam, and other Islamic groups continued until late November, when an agreement between those involved and the Iranian Government imposed a cease-fire.

Islamic Movement of Kurdistan holds (2005) two ministerial posts in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan-dominated government. This co-operation appears to be principally a temporary coalition dictated by pragmatic considerations. Islamic Movement is receiving aid from Iran and is also said to receive money from other Islamic countries. Islamic Movement of Kurdistan has offices in various towns in Northern Iraq, including Suleimaniyya and Irbil.

During the 2010 Iraqi elections the party won some 40 thousand votes.[1]

A Saudi cable leak from WikiLeaks revealed that Saudi Arabia donated over half a million dollars to the party.[2][3]

See also


  1. http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurds/5330.html
  2. http://www.basnews.com/en/news/2015/06/21/saudi-donated-two-million-riyal-to-kurdistan-islamic-movement-wikileaks/
  3. "Massud Barzani in WikiLeaks' Saudi Arabia cables". Kurd Net - Ekurd.net Daily News.
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