Iraqi insurgency (2003–2011)
An insurgency began in Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion, lasted throughout the ensuing Iraq War. The first phase of the insurgency began shortly after the 2003 invasion and prior to the establishment of the new Iraqi government. From around 2004 to May 2007, the insurgency targeted the Multi-National Force – Iraq, while latterly, Iraqi security forces, seen, by Iraqi insurgents, as collaborators with the coalition, were targeted. With the full-scale eruption of the sectarian civil war in February 2006, many militant attacks in American-controlled central Iraq were directed at the Iraqi police and military forces of the Iraqi government; the attacks continued during the transitional reconstruction of Iraq, as the Iraqi government tried to establish itself. Civil war violence decreased in late 2008 and the insurgency continued through the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. After the withdrawal in December 2011, a renewed wave of sectarian and anti-government insurgency swept Iraq, causing thousands of casualties in 2012.
Increasing violence in 2013 raised fears of another civil war. The insurgents in Iraq have been composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the American-led Multi-National Force – Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government. During the height of the Iraq War in 2006 to 2008, the fighting involved both armed conflict against the American-led military coalition, as well as sectarian violence among the different ethnic groups within the population; the insurgents were involved in asymmetric warfare and a war of attrition against the American-supported Iraqi government and American forces in central Iraq, while conducting coercive tactics against rivals or other militias. Iraq's deep sectarian divides have been a major dynamic in the insurgency, with support for the insurgents varying among different segments of the population; the 2003 invasion of Iraq began the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the government of Saddam Hussein within 21 days of major combat operations.
The invasion phase consisted of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraq capital Baghdad by U. S. forces. Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003; these were the United States, United Kingdom and Poland. Thirty-six other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U. S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The United States supplied the majority of the invading forces, but received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan; the invasion was preceded by an air strike on the Presidential Palace in Baghdad on 19 March 2003. The following day coalition forces launched an incursion into Basra Province from their massing point close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. While the special forces launched an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf to secure Basra and the surrounding petroleum fields, the main invasion army moved into southern Iraq, occupying the region and engaging in the Battle of Nasiriyah on 23 March.
Massive air strikes across the country and against Iraqi command and control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. On 26 March the 173rd Airborne Brigade was airdropped near the northern city of Kirkuk where they joined forces with Kurdish rebels and fought several actions against the Iraqi army to secure the northern part of the country; the main body of coalition forces continued their drive into the heart of Iraq and met with little resistance. Most of the Iraqi military was defeated and Baghdad was occupied on 9 April. Other operations occurred against pockets of the Iraqi army including the capture and occupation of Kirkuk on 10 April, the attack and capture of Tikrit on 15 April. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the central leadership went into hiding as the coalition forces completed the occupation of the country. On 1 May, an end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion stage of the Iraq War and beginning the military occupation period and the Iraqi insurgency against coalition forces.
The Iraqi insurgency of 2003–06 erupted following the invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's rule in May 2003. The armed insurgent opposition to the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government lasted until early 2006, when it deteriorated into a sectarian civil war, the most violent phase of the Iraq War. Following the U. S.-launched 2003 invasion of Iraq, the situation deteriorated, by 2007, the intercommunal violence between Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a factions was described by the National Intelligence Estimate as having elements of a civil war. In a 10 January 2007 address to the American people, President George W. Bush stated that "80% of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital; this violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, shaking the confidence of all Iraqis." Two polls of Americans conducted in 2006 found that between 65% to 85% believed Iraq was in a civil war. In October 2006, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Iraqi government estimated that more than 370,000 Iraqis had been displaced since the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, bringing the total number of Iraqi refugees to more than 1.6 million.
By 2008, the UNHCR raised the estimate of refugees to a total of about 4.7 million. The number of refugees estimated
A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, training and function are similar to those of a professional military, but, formally not part of a government's armed forces. Under the law of war, a state may incorporate a paramilitary organization or armed agency into its combatant armed forces; the other parties to a conflict have to be notified thereof. Though a paramilitary is not a military force, it is equivalent to a military's light infantry force in terms of intensity and organizational structure. A paramilitary may commonly fall under the command of a military despite not being part of the military or play an assisting role for the military in times of war. Depending on the definition adopted, "paramilitaries" may include: Irregular military forces: militias, insurgents, etc; the auxiliary forces of a state's military: national guard, presidential guard, republican guard, state defense force, home guard, royal guard, imperial guard Some police forces or auxiliary police: Indonesia's Mobile Brigade Corps, Detachment 88, India's Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, etc.
Semi-militarized law enforcement personnel within normal police forces, such as SWAT teams in the United States and a number of other countries Gendarmeries, such as Egyptian Central Security Forces and Russia's National Guard Border guards, such as Russia's Border Guard Service, Australian Border Force, India's Border Security Force The United States' Federal Protective Forces Security forces of ambiguous military status: internal troops, railroad guards, or railway troops Volunteer Defence Corps, such as Volunteer Defence Corps in Thailand, Volunteer Defence Corps in Australia, Shanghai Volunteer Corps, Royal Hong Kong Regiment The fire departments of many countries and locales, although unarmed, are organized in a manner similar to military or police forces. List of paramilitary organizations List of defunct paramilitary organizations Category:Rebel militia groups Weimar paramilitary groups List of Serbian paramilitary formations Militarization of police Panamanian Public Forces Fourth-generation warfare Private army Private Military Companies Death squad Violent non-state actor List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel Golkar, Saeid.
Paramilitarization of the Economy: the Case of Iran's Basij Militia, Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4 Golkar, Saeid.. Organization of the Oppressed or Organization for Oppressing: Analysing the Role of the Basij Militia of Iran. Politics, Religion & Ideology, Dec. 37–41. Doi:10.1080/21567689.2012.725661 Mexico's Plan to Create a Paramilitary Force Global Security
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a vote on a ballot question; some definitions of'plebiscite' suggest that it is a type of vote to change the constitution or government of a country. However, some other countries define it differently. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In Ireland, the vote to adopt its constitution was called a "plebiscite", but a subsequent vote to amend the constitution is called a'referendum', so is a poll of the electorate on a non-constitutional bill; the word referendum is a general word used for both legislative referrals and initiatives.'Referendum' is the gerundive form of the Latin verb refero "to carry back". As a gerundive is an adjective, not a noun, it cannot be used alone in Latin and must be contained within a context attached to a noun such as Propositum quod referendum est populo, "A proposal which must be carried back to the people".
The addition of the verb sum to a gerundive, denotes the idea of necessity or compulsion, that which "must" be done, rather than that, "fit for" doing. Its use as a noun in English is thus not a grammatical usage of a foreign word, but is rather a freshly coined English noun, which therefore follows English grammatical usage, not Latin grammatical usage; this determines the form of the plural in English, which according to English grammar should be "referendums". The use of "referenda" as a plural form in English is thus insupportable according to the rules of both Latin and English grammar alike; the use of "referenda" as a plural form is posited hypothetically as either a gerund or a gerundive by the Oxford English Dictionary, which rules out such usage in both cases as follows: Referendums is logically preferable as a plural form meaning'ballots on one issue'. The Latin plural gerundive'referenda', meaning'things to be referred' connotes a plurality of issues, it is related to the political agenda, "those matters which must be driven forward", from ago, to drive.
The name and use of the'referendum' is thought to have originated in the Swiss canton of Graubünden as early as the 16th century. The term'plebiscite' has a similar meaning in modern usage, comes from the Latin plebiscita, which meant a decree of the Concilium Plebis, the popular assembly of the Roman Republic. Today, a referendum can often be referred to as a plebiscite, but in some countries the two terms are used differently to refer to votes with differing types of legal consequences. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In contrast, Ireland has only held one plebiscite, the vote to adopt its constitution, every other vote has been called a referendum. Plebiscite has been used to denote a non-binding vote count such as the one held by Nazi Germany to'approve' in retrospect the so-called Anschluss with Austria, the question being not'Do you permit?' but rather'Do you approve?' of that which has most already occurred.
The term referendum covers a variety of different meanings. A referendum can be advisory. In some countries, different names are used for these two types of referendum. Referendums can be further classified by who initiates them: mandatory referendums prescribed by law, voluntary referendums initiated by the legislature or government, referendums initiated by citizens. A deliberative referendum is a referendum designed to improve the deliberative qualities of the campaign preceding the referendum vote, and/or of the act of voting itself. From a political-philosophical perspective, referendums are an expression of direct democracy. However, in the modern world, most referendums need to be understood within the context of representative democracy. Therefore, they tend to be used quite selectively, covering issues such as changes in voting systems, where elected officials may not have the legitimacy or inclination to implement such changes. Since the end of the 18th century, hundreds of national referendums have been organised in the world.
Italy ranked second with 72 national referendums: 67 popular referendums, 3 constitutional referendums, one institutional referendum and one advisory referendum. A referendum offers the electorate a choice of accepting or rejecting a proposal, but not always; some referendums give voters the choice among multiple choices and some use Transferable voting even. In Switzerland, for example, multiple choice referendums are common. Two multiple choice referendums were held in Sweden, in 1957 and in 1980, in which voters were offered three options. In 1977, a referendum held in Australia to determine a new national anthem was held in which voters had four choices. In 1992, New Zealand held a five-option referendum on their electoral system. In 1982, Guam had referendum that used six options, with an additional blank option for anyone wishing to vote for their own seventh option. A multiple choice referendum pose
A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics. A reporter is a type of journalist who researches and reports on information in order to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, make reports; the information-gathering part of a journalist's job is sometimes called reporting, in contrast to the production part of the job such as writing articles. Reporters may split their time between working in a newsroom and going out to witness events or interviewing people. Reporters may be assigned a specific area of coverage. Depending on the context, the term journalist may include various types of editors, editorial writers and visual journalists, such as photojournalists.
Journalism has developed a variety of standards. While objectivity and a lack of bias are of primary concern and importance, more liberal types of journalism, such as advocacy journalism and activism, intentionally adopt a non-objective viewpoint; this has become more prevalent with the advent of social media and blogs, as well as other platforms that are used to manipulate or sway social and political opinions and policies. These platforms project extreme bias, as "sources" are not always held accountable or considered necessary in order to produce a written, televised, or otherwise "published" end product. Matthew C. Nisbet, who has written on science communication, has defined a "knowledge journalist" as a public intellectual who, like Walter Lippmann, David Brooks, Fareed Zakaria, Naomi Klein, Michael Pollan, Thomas Friedman, Andrew Revkin, sees their role as researching complicated issues of fact or science which most laymen would not have the time or access to information to research themselves communicating an accurate and understandable version to the public as a teacher and policy advisor.
In his best-known books, Public Opinion and The Phantom Public, Lippmann argued that most individuals lacked the capacity and motivation to follow and analyze news of the many complex policy questions that troubled society. Nor did they directly experience most social problems, or have direct access to expert insights; these limitations were made worse by a news media that tended to over-simplify issues and to reinforce stereotypes, partisan viewpoints, prejudices. As a consequence, Lippmann believed that the public needed journalists like himself who could serve as expert analysts, guiding “citizens to a deeper understanding of what was important.” In 2018, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook reported that employment for the category, "reporters and broadcast news analysts," will decline 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. Journalists sometimes expose themselves to danger when reporting in areas of armed conflict or in states that do not respect the freedom of the press.
Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders publish reports on press freedom and advocate for journalistic freedom. As of November 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 887 journalists have been killed worldwide since 1992 by murder, crossfire or combat, or on dangerous assignment; the "ten deadliest countries" for journalists since 1992 have been Iraq, Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that as of December 1, 2010, 145 journalists were jailed worldwide for journalistic activities. Current numbers are higher; the ten countries with the largest number of currently-imprisoned journalists are Turkey, Iran, Burma, Vietnam, Cuba and Sudan. Apart from the physical harm, journalists are harmed psychologically; this applies to war reporters, but their editorial offices at home do not know how to deal appropriately with the reporters they expose to danger. Hence, a systematic and sustainable way of psychological support for traumatized journalists is needed.
However, only little and fragmented support programs exist so far. The Newseum in Washington, D. C. is home to the Journalists Memorial, which lists the names of over 2,100 journalists from around the world who were killed in the line of duty. The relationship between a professional journalist and a source can be rather complex, a source can sometimes impact the direction of the article written by the journalist; the article'A Compromised Fourth Estate' uses Herbert Gans' metaphor to capture their relationship. He uses a dance metaphor'The Tango' to illustrate the co-operative nature of their interactions "It takes two to tango". Herbert suggests that the source leads but journalists object to this notion for two reasons: It signals source supremacy in news making, it offends journalists' professional culture, which emphasizes editorial autonomy. This dance metaphor helps showcase consensus within the relationship but the article describe the common relation between the two "A relationship with sources, too cozy is compromising of journalists’ integrity and risks becoming collusive.
Journalists have favored a
Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda operates as a network of Salafist jihadists; the organization has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and various other countries. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on non-military and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, the 2002 Bali bombings; the United States government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the "War on Terror", which sought to undermine al-Qaeda and its allies. The deaths of key leaders, including that of Osama bin Laden, have led al-Qaeda's operations to shift from the top down organization and planning of attacks, to the planning of attacks which are carried out by associated groups and lone-wolf operators.
Al-Qaeda characteristically employs attacks which include suicide attacks and the simultaneous bombing of several targets. Activities which are ascribed to al-Qaeda involve the actions of those who have made a pledge of loyalty to bin Laden, or to the actions of "al-Qaeda-linked" individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision the removal of all foreign influences in Muslim countries, the creation of a new caliphate ruling over the entire Muslim world. Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam; as Salafist jihadists, members of al-Qaeda believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned. This belief ignores the aspects of religious scripture which forbid the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting. Al-Qaeda opposes what it regards as man-made laws, wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law. Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks on targets.
Al-Qaeda is responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. Al-Qaeda's leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias and other sects as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings. Following the death of bin Laden in 2011, the group has been led by Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Qaeda's philosophy calls for the centralization of decision making, while allowing for the decentralization of execution. However, after the War on Terror, al-Qaeda's leadership has become isolated; as a result, the leadership has become decentralized, the organization has become regionalized into several al-Qaeda groups. Many terrorism experts do not believe that the global jihadist movement is driven at every level by al-Qaeda's leadership. However, bin Laden held considerable ideological sway over some Muslim extremists before his death.
Experts argue that al-Qaeda has fragmented into a number of disparate regional movements, that these groups bear little connection with one another. This view mirrors the account given by Osama bin Laden in his October 2001 interview with Tayseer Allouni: this matter isn't about any specific person and... is not about the al-Qa'idah Organization. We are the children of an Islamic Nation, with Prophet Muhammad as its leader, our Lord is one... and all the true believers are brothers. So the situation isn't like the West portrays it, that there is an'organization' with a specific name and so on; that particular name is old. It was born without any intention from us. Brother Abu Ubaida... created a military base to train the young men to fight against the vicious, brutal, terrorizing Soviet empire... So this place was called ` The Base', as in a training base, so this name became. We aren't separated from this nation. We are the children of a nation, we are an inseparable part of it, from those public *** which spread from the far east, from the Philippines, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to India, to Pakistan, reaching Mauritania... and so we discuss the conscience of this nation.
Bruce Hoffman, sees al-Qaeda as a cohesive network, led from the Pakistani tribal areas. Al-Qaeda has the following direct affiliates: Al-Qaeda's indirect affiliates includes the following, some of which have left the organization and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: Osama bin Laden was the Senior Operations Chief of al-Qaeda prior to his assassination by US forces on May 1, 2011. Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was alleged to be second in command prior to his death on August 22, 2011. Bin Laden was advised by a Shura Council; the group was estimated to consist of 20–30 people. One such member is thought to have been Sayed Tayib al-Madani. Ayman al-Zawahiri had been al-Qaeda's Deputy Operations Chief and assumed the role of commander after bin Laden's death. Al-Zawahiri replaced Saif al-Adel. On June 5, 2012, Pakistani intelligence officials announced that al-Rahman's alleged successor Abu Yahya al-Libi had been killed in Pakistan. Nasir al-Wuhayshi was said to have become second in command in 2013.
He was the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, until he was killed in a US airstrike in June 2015. Al-Qaeda's network was built from scratch as a conspiratoria
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. The population of Baghdad, as of 2016, is 8,765,000, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab world, the second largest city in Western Asia. Located along the Tigris River, the city was founded in the 8th century and became the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Within a short time of its inception, Baghdad evolved into a significant cultural and intellectual center for the Islamic world. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, as well as hosting multiethnic and multireligious environment, garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the "Centre of Learning". Baghdad was the largest city of the Middle Ages for much of the Abbasid era, peaking at a population of more than a million; the city was destroyed at the hands of the Mongol Empire in 1258, resulting in a decline that would linger through many centuries due to frequent plagues and multiple successive empires. With the recognition of Iraq as an independent state in 1938, Baghdad regained some of its former prominence as a significant center of Arab culture.
In contemporary times, the city has faced severe infrastructural damage, most due to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the subsequent Iraq War that lasted until December 2011. In recent years, the city has been subjected to insurgency attacks; the war had resulted in a substantial loss of historical artifacts as well. As of 2018, Baghdad was listed as one of the least hospitable places in the world to live, ranked by Mercer as the worst of 231 major cities as measured by quality-of-life; the name Baghdad is pre-Islamic, its origin is disputed. The site where the city of Baghdad developed has been populated for millennia. By the 8th century AD, several villages had developed there, including a Persian hamlet called Baghdad, the name which would come to be used for the Abbasid metropolis. Arab authors, realizing the pre-Islamic origins of Baghdad's name looked for its roots in Persian, they suggested various meanings, the most common of, "bestowed by God". Modern scholars tend to favor this etymology, which views the word as a compound of bagh "god" and dād "given", In Old Persian the first element can be traced to boghu and is related to Slavic bog "god", while the second can be traced to dadāti.
A similar term in Middle Persian is the name Mithradāt, known in English by its Hellenistic form Mithridates, meaning "gift of Mithra". There are a number of other locations in the wider region whose names are compounds of the word bagh, including Baghlan and Bagram in Afghanistan or a village called Bagh-šan in Iran; the name of the town Baghdati in Georgia shares the same etymological origins. A few authors have suggested older origins for the name, in particular the name Bagdadu or Hudadu that existed in Old Babylonian, the Babylonian Talmudic name of a place called "Baghdatha"; some scholars suggested Aramaic derivations. When the Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur, founded a new city for his capital, he chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or City of Peace; this was the official name on coins and other official usage, although the common people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, "Baghdad" became the exclusive name for the world-renowned metropolis. After the fall of the Umayyads, the first Muslim dynasty, the victorious Abbasid rulers wanted their own capital from which they could rule.
They chose a site north of the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon, on 30 July 762 the caliph Al-Mansur commissioned the construction of the city. It was built under the supervision of the Barmakids. Mansur believed that Baghdad was the perfect city to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the Abbasids. Mansur loved the site so much he is quoted saying: "This is indeed the city that I am to found, where I am to live, where my descendants will reign afterward"; the city's growth was helped by its excellent location, based on at least two factors: it had control over strategic and trading routes along the Tigris, it had an abundance of water in a dry climate. Water exists on both the north and south ends of the city, allowing all households to have a plentiful supply, uncommon during this time. Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sassanians, located some 30 km to the southeast. Today, all that remains of Ctesiphon is the shrine town of Salman Pak, just to the south of Greater Baghdad.
Ctesiphon itself had replaced and absorbed Seleucia, the first capital of the Seleucid Empire, which had earlier replaced the city of Babylon. According to the traveler Ibn Battuta, Baghdad was one of the largest cities, not including the damage it has received; the residents are Hanbal. Bagdad is home to the grave of Abu Hanifa where there is a cell and a mosque above it; the Sultan of Bagdad, Abu Said Bahadur Khan, was a Tartar king. In its early years, the city was known as a deliberate reminder of an expression in the Qur'an, when it refers to Paradise, it took four years to build. Mansur assembled engineers and art constructionists from around the world to come together and draw up plans for the city. Over 100,000 construction workers came to survey the plans. July was chosen as the starting time because two astrologers, Naubakht Ahva
Shia Islam is one of the two main branches of Islam. It holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor and the Imam after him, most notably at the event of Ghadir Khumm, but was prevented from the caliphate as a result of the incident at Saqifah; this view contrasts with that of Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr, who they claim was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus in Saqifa, to be the first rightful Caliph after the Prophet. Unlike the first three Rashidun caliphs, Ali was from the same clan as Muhammad, Banu Hashim as well as being the prophet's cousin and being the first male to become Muslim. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shias of Ali, Shias or the Shi'a as a collective or Shi'i or Shi'ite individually. Shia Islam is the second largest branch of Islam: as of the late 2000s, Shia Muslims constituted 10-15% of all Muslims. Twelver Shia is the largest branch of Shia Islam, with 2012 estimates saying that 85% of Shias were Twelvers.
Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of Muhammad attested in hadith, on hadith taught by their Imams. Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad, as the first Imam; the Shia extend this Imammah doctrine to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt, some individuals among his descendants, known as Imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community and other divinely ordained traits. Although there are many Shia subsects, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main groupings: Twelvers and Zaidis, with Twelver Shia being the largest and most influential group among Shia; the word Shia means followers and is the short form of the historic phrase shīʻatu ʻAlī, meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali". Shi'a and Shiism are the forms used in English, while Shi'ite or Shiite, as well as Shia, refer to its adherents; the term for the first time was used at the time of Muhammad. At present, the word refers to the Muslims who believe that the leadership of the community after Muhammad belongs to Ali and his successors.
Nawbakhti states that the term Shia refers to a group of Muslims that at the time of Muhammad and after him regarded Ali as the Imam and Caliph. Al-Shahrastani expresses that the term Shia refers to those who believe that Ali is designated as the Heir and caliph by Muhammad and Ali's authority never goes out of his descendants. For the Shia, this conviction is implicit in the history of Islam. Shia scholars emphasize that the notion of authority is linked to the family of the prophets as the verses 3:33,34 shows: "Indeed, God chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of'Imran over the worlds – Descendants, some of them from others, and God is Hearing and Knowing." Shia Muslims believe that just as a prophet is appointed by God alone, only God has the prerogative to appoint the successor to his prophet. They believe God chose Ali to be Muhammad's successor, the first caliph of Islam; the Shias believe. Ali was Muhammad's first-cousin and closest living male relative as well as his son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatimah.
Muhammad invited people to Islam in secret for three years. In the fourth year of Islam, when Muhammad was commanded to invite his closer relatives to come to Islam he gathered the Banu Hashim clan in a ceremony. At the banquet, he was about to invite them to Islam when Abu Lahab interrupted him, after which everyone left the banquet; the Prophet ordered Ali to invite the 40 people again. The second time, Muhammad invited them to join, he said to them, I offer thanks to God for His mercies. I praise God, I seek His guidance. I believe in Him and I put my trust in Him. I bear witness. God has commanded me to invite you to His religion by saying:. I, warn you, call upon you to testify that there is no god but God, that I am His messenger. O ye sons of Abdul Muttalib, no one came to you before with anything better than what I have brought to you. By accepting it, your welfare will be assured in the Hereafter. Who among you will support me in carrying out this momentous duty? Who will share the burden of this work with me?
Who will respond to my call? Who will become my vicegerent, my deputy and my wazir? Ali was the only one to answer Muhammad's call. Muhammad told him to sit down, saying, "Wait! Someone older than you might respond to my call." Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a second time. Once again, Ali was the only one to respond, again, Muhammad told him to wait. Muhammad asked the members of Banu Hashim a third time. Ali was still the only volunteer; this time, Ali's offer was accepted by Muhammad. Muhammad "drew close, pressed him to his heart, said to the assembly:'This is my wazir, my successor and my vicegerent. Listen to him and obey his commands.'" In another narration, when Muhammad accepted Ali's eager offer, Muhammad "threw up his arms around the generous youth, pressed him to his bosom" and said, "Behold my brother, my vizir, my vicegerent... Let all listen to his words, obey him." Sir Richard Burton writes about the banquet in his 1898 book, saying, "It won for a proselyte worth a thousand sabers in the pers