Sadr’s Supporters Hold Iraq Counter-Protests, Fault Criticism of Cleric

Sadr issues religious guidelines for protesters

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for his supporters to return to the protest movement, but after weeks of violent acrimony between his supporters and everyone else, it has rather ended up with the establishment of counter-protests, one for the regular crowd, and one for Sadrists, who are condemning the other protesters for public criticism of Sadr.

Sadr issued the call for protests, and has issued a series of religious guidelines for protesters, demanding gender separation at all rallies, and banning drugs and alcohol. The other protesters have mocked this call.

The act of mocking Sadr’s religious edicts was itself a subject for the counter-protesters, who say everyone needs to accept the sanctity of religious symbols, and are presenting people in the other protest as agitators who are shattering the protest movement.

The split centers around Sadr backing interim-PM Mohammed Allawi, while other protesters believe Allawi is too much of an insider. He is meant to form a temporary government and bring in early elections, which are a demand of all the protesters.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.