Iraqi supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr shout slogans and wave national flags as they demonstrate in Baghdad against corruption in the Iraqi government on March 2, 2018. Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye | AFP
By Rudaw 7 hours ago
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Muqtada al-Sadr, the power broker in Iraq’s government formation, has called on supporters to rally and protest the corruption, sectarianism and partisanship within Iraq on the occasion of an upcoming “Unity Prayer” wearing death shrouds after months of stopping his protests.
“Yes, you believers rush to helping your Marja and custodian to victory with all prestige, veneration and humbleness, wear shrouds just like worn as shields by the unjust,” reads a message by Sadr on Wednesday.
The firebrand Shiite cleric has rallied relished the role of the opposition voice in Iraqi politics.
“Yes you soldiers of reform rush to helping the success of the reformer of the era ‘Sayid Mohammed al-Sadr’ and his Friday,” he added, referencing his father.
He says his father held Friday prayers while religion was “banned” and Iraq was held in a “prison where life was banned” by Saddam’s regime.
Sadr, throughout the last year and sometimes this year, has organized 1 million-man protests to demand reforms and better services. This helped his list win Iraq’s elections.
“Rush to a prayer of 1 million [men] from which the corrupt tremble, the oppressors get humiliated, the believer becomes humble and the oppressed get elevated,” called Sadr on his supporters.
Sadr called on supporters to reject sectarianism, corruption, partisanship, terror and “to the occupier,” unclear as to whether he is referring to the United States.
Iraq needs the “peaceful, honorable, angry stance” of the people, arguing this will pave the road for a new Iraq that is far from “the corrupt, sins, oppressors and all sinful aggressors and occupiers.”
Sadr currently has formed an alliance with Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, Ammar al-Hakim and previous PM Ayad Allawi’s Wataniyah, while competing to win over Kurds and Sunni against the bloc of former PM Nouri al-Maliki.
Iraq’s new parliament is to convene its first session no later than September 3 by presidential decree.