Ahmad Moftizadeh
Iranian politician
Ahmad Moftizadeh
Ahmad Moftizadeh was an influential political and religious thinker among the Sunni Kurdish minority in Iranian Kurdistan. He is best known for his leading role in negotiating democratic freedoms for the Kurdish people in Iran during the country's Islamic Revolution. Moftizadeh led one of three major Kurdish factions during the Islamic Revolution that were demanding increased rights for Kurds in the new government.
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  • 1993
    Age 60
    Moftizadeh died shortly after his release from prison in 1993 due to severe torture and mistreatment by Iranian prison authorities.
    More Details Hide Details Ahmad Moftizadeh was a Kurdish nationalist and Islamist leader that emerged during the Shah's rule of Iran just prior to the time of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. He was widely regarded as one of the most influential Sunni personalities in Iran and rose to fame among the larger Kurdish community in Iran after being targeted by government authorities of the Shah of Iran for his demands for Kurdish autonomy. Moftizadeh was the son of the Mufti (religious leader) of the Iranian Kurdistan region, but decided by his own will not to assume the clerical role in the same capacity as his father. Moftizadeh studied at the University of Tehran where he was in constant contact with members of the outlawed Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran and he began to develop his political ideas as a student in Tehran. He left the university in the 1960s and began visiting various centers of religious education in the cities of Halabja, Biyareh and Khaneqin across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan due to the restrictions on Sunni religious schools in Iran.
  • 1983
    Age 50
    In 1983, Iranian authorities arrested Moftizadeh on the account that he was endangering national security and a court later sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
    More Details Hide Details The specific charges against him were never publicly announced. While in prison, Moftizadeh reportedly suffered continuous brutal torture at the hands of authorities. Just six months after his release from prison, he died. Individuals close to Moftizadeh claimed that nearly all the bones in his body had been repeatedly broken and blamed his death on the torture and mistreatment by Iranian authorities. After Moftizadeh's death, some of his followers including influential figures - Sabhani Naser and Farough Farsad - were arrested and killed by Iranian authorities in order to ensure that any further movement developing under Moftizadeh's faction would be exterminated.
  • 1978
    Age 45
    By the time the Islamic Revolution swept Iran in 1978, Ahmad Moftizadeh had already developed his own faction of Kurdish followers that supported the notion of a unified Islamic and democratic state of Iran with special autonomy for the Kurdish people.
    More Details Hide Details In 1978, Moftizadeh founded the Maktabe Koran or the Quranic School of Thought in Sanandaj. As a leader of a large segment of people in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj, he drew opposition from communist and nationalist groups early on for supporting the notion of an Islamic state. However, despite a brief confrontation and continued heavy disagreements about the role of Kurds in the Islamic Revolution, Moftizadeh maintained a neutral relationship with other more influential nationalist factions such as the secular Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran. After multiple discussions with the leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, through intermediaries, Moftizadeh was reported to have said that the "guarantee of autonomy for the Kurds is in my pocket". The new leaders of the Islamic Republic reportedly offered a number of guarantees to Moftizadeh, which included some autonomy for the Kurds, in return for his followers' support of the revolution.
  • 1976
    Age 43
    Moftizadeh and some of his supporters were imprisoned by the Shah's government in 1976 when his political activities in Sanandaj became known to the local authorities but were released less than a month afterwards.
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  • 1933
    Age 0
    Born in 1933.
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