10 Influential Muslims Who Were Assassinated
Over the ages, renowned, famous and public personalities have been the target of their ideological, religious and political opponents who, driven by a diverse range of motives, have ended up assassinating them. Our societies all over the globe in general and in Muslim countries in particular are prone to getting attracted to personality cults as they wish to become followers of successful personalities willing to be led by them. However, antithetical to these people, there are also those who refuse be led by such famous figures and disagree with their school of thought. Their hostilities are escalated to such huge proportions in some cases, that they end up getting rid of their opponents. We have compiled a list of the famous influential leaders of Muslim countries who had a considerable clout in their respective countries but ended up getting assassinated by their dissidents.
1 – Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s eleventh and the first ever democratically elected woman prime minister, Benazir Bhutto was the daughter of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. She was assassinated on December 27, 2007 when she was making her way back from a campaign rally held in Liaquat National Bagh, Rawalpindi, in the run up to the general election of 2008. As she raised her head out of the sunroof of her SUV, multiple bullets were shot at her in addition to bomb blasts near her vehicle killing 20 on the spot. She succumbed to her injuries and died in Rawalpindi General Hospital.
2 – Liaquat Ali Khan (Pakistan)
The first prime minister of Pakistan, a statesman and a political theorist, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated on October 16, 1951 during a public gathering of the Muslim City League in the city of Rawalpindi. He was shot twice in the chest by Saad Akbar Babrak who was shot immediately by the law enforcement agencies. The motive of the assassination was buried with the death of the murderer.
3 – King Faisal (Saudi Arabia)
King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over a decade from 1964 to 1975, and a pioneer of the concepts of Pan-Islamism and anti-Communism, Faisal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was murdered by the son of his half brother, Faisal Bin Musaid. The prince had made his way back to the country after his detour from the United States. The assassination took place during a meeting between the two after negotiations with the representatives of the government of Kuwait. As the King leaned forward to greet the prince, he was shot point blank with a pistol.
4 – Rafic Hariri (Lebanon)
Twice the president of the Lebanon and a giant business tycoon, Rafic Hariri is credited for the rehabilitation of Beirut after it saw harrowing devastation during the country’s civil war. Rafic Hariri was murdered as bombs were exploded precisely when his motorcade drove past the St. George Hospital in Beirut. His assassination is still an enigma as the investigation reports have alluded to a number of suspects including Hezbollah and Syrian Government.
5 – Anwar Sadat (Egypt)
Anwar Sadat was the president of Egypt who was murdered by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad during the annual victory parade held in Cairo. One of the attackers were killed in retaliation by the security forces. Anwar Sadat was considered an influential leader in the Muslim world.
6 – Muammar Ghaddafi (Libya)
Muammar Ghaddafi was the deposed president of Libya who was murdered by his opponents as he was found hiding during the battle of Sirte. Initially, it was propagated that Ghaddafi died because of his wounds which he suffered during a firefight as his followers endeavored to rescue him. However, later on it was revealed that Ghaddafi had been shot multiple times by the National Transition Council forces.
7 – Meena Keshwar Kamal (Afghanistan)
Meena Keshwar Kamal was a famous women’s rights activist who worked diligently to uphold the rights of the women in the conservative and parochial society of Afghanistan. Meena established a number of schools and hospitals for the Afghan refugees in Pakistan where she was killed by unknown assailants in the city of Quetta.
8 – Aquila al-Hashimi (Iraq)
Aquila was an Iraqi politician who remained a cabinet member of President Saddam Hussein’s regime and was also later selected as a member of the subsequent transition government. She was shot by six gunmen in Baghdad and died of abdomen wounds after five days of being shot.
9 – Malcolm X (United States)
Known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and a human rights activist and is remembered as one of the greatest and most influential African Muslims in history. He was killed by members of the organization Nation of Islam in 1965. He was one of the most vociferous proponents of Pan Africanism.
10 – Ahmed Yassin (Palestine)
An imam, Palestinian politician, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed by an Israeli helicopter gunship after the morning prayers. In the attack, his bodyguards along with nine bystanders also lost their lives.