A man whose name in honesty I probably can't pronounce without auditory examples:
Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimir. The Muslim Shi-ite cleric executed by the Saudi's.
The more I read about him, passively though twitter, the more it sounded like he was kind of a Middle Eastern Trade unionist, then with the religious aspect perhaps some sort of Gandhi (perhaps not in Gandhi's ability to unite faiths, but in his non violent activism), considering the difficulties he faced,
Then I read the wikileaks cables on him (bearing in mind these are obviously not faked at all or put out by a sympathetic or hypocritical media), and he sounds like a real spiritual leader.
I seem to be wrong a lot recently, so it is of course possible some sort of horrible thing comes out about him later in this malign world, I hope not:
al-Nimr responded that if a conflict were to occur he would "side with the people, never with the government." He continued by saying that though he will always choose the
side of the people, this does not necessarily mean that he will always support all of the people's actions, for example, violence.
He quickly followed by saying that politically, he is on the side of justice, wherever or with whomever it may preside. He provided the example of Iraqi politics, saying that he does not support the aspirations of any Arabs - be they Sunni or Shi'a - or Turkomen who would aspire to power in northern Iraq. In al-Nimr's view, as the Kurds are an undoubted majority in the region, it would be unjust if they did not exercise a majority of power.
Al-Nimr attempted to distance himself from Iran, saying that piety is only God alone, and that all nations act in their own interests.
Also notable for the purpose of predicting al-Nimr's future behavior was his recognition of his own growing popularity, an observation supported by many in the community. Post contacts have described al-Nimr as someone who in previous years was largely an apolitical religious figure, and is still a secondary player in local politics. These contacts point to the death of Ayatollah Shirazi as the moment when al-Nimr began to take more political stances, his politicization a product of desire for greater community influence. Assuming al-Nimr's primary goals are greater rights for Shi'a and greater personal influence, it would seem his plan will be to continue forcefully calling for reform and creating unrest, endearing him to the disaffected, and fitting with his vision of instability as being the only catalyst for real change in the Kingdom.