Sadr: No Place for Militias in Iraq

Cleric urges unity, not sectarianism

Influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said in his latest comments that there is “no place for militias” in Iraq, calling on the nation to form a unity government and stop the era of sectarianism.

Sadr has long been preaching unity, and his party’s plurality in the new parliament suggests this is at least in part an effort to form a coalition. His having a militia of his own in the past may have some questioning his sincerity.

It remains to be seen if this will help him court valuable alliances with Sunni blocs. Sadr had also been reported to be courting the Fatah Party, a Shi’ite party that is dominated by militias, and this may suggest that he’s less keen on them.

This would make sense, as a majority coalition needs Sunni blocs, but could probably live without Fatah, which did extremely poorly in the vote.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.