سيد مقتدى الصدر

The Day of Rage has passed.  Whew.

We should probably talk about this some.

Mainly through social media websites like Facebook, many in Iraq called for 25 February to be a day of protests across Iraq. The calls to protests cited unemployment, insufficient essential services like electricity and sewage removal, corruption, and the ill effects of nepotism.

But at the same time, Muqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq from Iran, returned to the people who follow him (he is a social leader, the head of a political block, and an cleric-in-training), and called for them to not take to the streets.  He urged them to give this new central government 6 months to address the issues that they’re raising, issues that he says have been heard.

That right there likely kept the Day of Rage from become a push to overthrow the central government and PM Maliki, and shaped it as a day of local protests about local (provincial and city) protests — on those same topics, of course.  The Governor in Basra was ousted.  Thousands marches in Ramadi.  The mayor in Falluja quit.  The people marched on the provincial government in Mosul, a provincial government that was created by the Al Habda party after it won more than 50% of the vote in the last (2009) provincial elections.  And it’s been continued protests in the Kurdish region, against the Kurdish government of Barzani and the KDP/PUK.

Likely, because of the call of Muqtada al-Sadr.  Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Jaysh al-Mahdi fought both US and Coalition forces just a few years ago, as well as Iraqi security forces.  Muqtada al-Sadr, who was known some time ago more for his love of video games than his efforts to follow in the steps of his family, who have long been senior and key religious figures both in Iraq and the Shia faith.

Are the protests over?  I don’t think so.  Was crisis averted for the Prime Minister and the central government?  Most definitely.  Are there still issues in Iraq for which people are seeking local and national redress?  Absolutely.  Could Muqtada al-Sadr turn on PM Maliki, and topple the central government?  Yeah, I think he could.

Is Muqtada al-Sadr all that and a cheese sandwich?  No.  But keeping watching the news, keep an ear to the ground for what’s going on over here.

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4 Responses to “سيد مقتدى الصدر”

  1. Susan Bennett Says:

    Please let me know where to send bundles of fabric. I have lots! Thanks. Susan Benett

  2. linda Says:

    Can I still send a bundle or two your way ?
    Linda

  3. The Slapdash Sewist Says:

    Thank you for this interesting perspective–I hadn’t read much about al Sadr’s stabilizing influence. It is surprising to write that phrase!

  4. Petra Says:

    This is such a great idea! My six year old and I would love to put a bundle together. Let us know where to send it and we will get it done!

    Thank you!

    Petra

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