political parties started being established in the Arab world, traditionalists
drew the sword of morality in their faces because members of political parties
are immoral, as demonstrated by the intermingling of men and women within them.
al-Sadr is an Iraqi Shia cleric, politician and militia leader.
predictably continued: in those mixed parties, heinous things happen, including
al-Sadr, nearly two thirds of a century later, has brought this critique, which
the old world that lacked strong arguments used to rebuke the ideas,
organizations and institutions of the new world, back to the fore. However,
instead of directing his attacks on political parties, he is targeting the
protests and sit-ins of the Iraqi revolution. He says, along with a few of his
friends through their tweets, that gender intermingling contradicts morality,
religion and national values, and that it is necessarily accompanied by taking
drugs and drinking alcohol. He warns of Iraq’s transformation… into Chicago!
Moqtada lacks the intellectual tools of theorists, like Leo Strauss, who put
forward a radical criticism of modernity in which he relied on a wide range of
philosophers that begin with Plato and does not end with Maimonides.
thoughts, on the other hand, can be identified by referring to two - and there
are many others - stunning examples: once, he attacked youths for playing
football and chasing a ball instead of fencing or riding horses. He didn’t stop
there, going on to say that the west, “especially Israel and the Jews”, left
these games to us in order to distract us as they focused on science and
time, he issued a fatwa - one of the “decisive” fatwas that were meant to
prepare for the battle with the Americans - sanctioning theft and looting
provided that one-fifth of the money is given to him and his institutions.
Sadr’s thought can only be dealt with when examined over a long period. With
regard to the ongoing revolution, he called on people to take part in it,
withdrew from it and then returned to participate in it before proceeding to
suppress it more violently than any of those who had supressed it before him.
The same applies to his relationship with Iran, which he supported, then
criticized and attacked and now praises. He currently resides in Iran until
As for his
relationship with Sunnis, he was heavily involved in the 2006 civil war and the
“death squads” loyal to him would leave Sadr City to go on killing and
kidnapping sprees. However, he later showed solidarity with Sunnis protesting
in Anbar against Nuri al-Maliki’s government. He then went much further than
that, recognizing the legitimacy of the Rashidun, or Rightly-Guided, Caliphs'
mandate and denying that Yazid bin Muawiyah had murdered Hussein bin Ali.
could be said about the many organizations he established, the most recent of
which is the “Blue Caps”. He goes on to disband and even defame some of them.
He does the same with some of his advisors, expelling and insulting them, then
bringing them back to his side.
Moqtada cannot be understood from his thoughts, his turbulent neurological and
psychological make-up or even his love of tumult. The entry point to
understanding him, especially after the outbreak of the Iraqi revolution, is
On the one
hand, he is no longer able to maintain the unity of his impoverished supporters
whom the economic crisis impacts more than others. Since the Sunni and Kurdish
“enemy” is almost absent on the political scene, it is impossible to incite and
mobilize against it in order to preserve the cohesion of his popular base. The
moral question is now being used to perform this function.
the sayyed’s eyes, are weak opponents whom he aspires to rally his conservative
and traditional base against.
other hand, the blind loyalty that traditionally linked his base to him does
not apply to Iraq’s youth, especially women. Their sentiments and tastes have
become globalized, and they are demanding rights, equality and transparency.
This heightens his anger and apprehension, especially given the revolution’s
persistence despite his recent withdrawal from it just as it had persisted
following the killing of Soleimani before that.
line is that, in contrast to the image of the neutral actor he is trying to
project about himself, Sadr sits at the heart of the regime that he wants to
preserve. Without him, neither would Adel Abdel Mahdi have been able to form
his government nor would Mohammed Toufiq Allawi have been appointed to form a
new government. As for Sairoon’s (Moqtada’s parliamentary bloc) alliance with
the Fateh bloc, it keeps the reins of power in assured sectarian hands.
wants, at the end of the day, is to ensure that he maintains a share of the
booty from a strong position, while preserving his "right" to seem
like a whiny member of the opposition who loves to play the victim.
of Iraq, however, will not be the bridge that he crosses to arrive at that
goal. They are no longer the weak opponent that Sadr imagines them to be. Some
of the bravest of Iraq’s women and girls were killed during the protests. Some
have been assaulted, even stabbed, and, they turned out in large numbers to
protest in Baghdad and provinces in the center and south of the country like
Babel and Dhi Qar. Sadr should be a little cautious when speaking about Iraqi
Headline: Moqtada al-Sadr and Women
Source: The Aawsat