“Freedom of Expression is a Sacred Right”: Iraqi activists are fighting back against proposed legislation which seeks to restrict civil liberties

Iraqi activists are currently fighting against a draft law, the ‘Law of Freedom of Expression, Gathering, and Peaceful Protest’, which contains a number of amendments which seek to severely restrict basic civil liberties. Activists from across the civil trend spectrum, including Madaniyoun, Mustamerroun, journalists, and students have engaged in protests, including in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square,

Translation: Muqtada al-Sadr, a coup, and democracy.

Muqtada al-Sadr was recently asked by one of his followers to clarify whether he would seek to topple the Iraqi government in a forceful coup and install a new government. Perhaps more interesting than the overt question about coups was how the question was framed, the underlying reference to Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr’s political vision which

Translation & Analysis: Madaniyoun launch statement – 2nd July

Below is a translation of a statement delivered at the launch of a new group in Iraq’s civil trend called Madaniyoun (2nd July 2016). One clear purpose of the statement is to distinguish Madiniyoun from the existing leadership of Iraq’s protest movement which centres on Mustamerroun and the ‘Higher Coordination Committee’ which draws together elements of

Translation and analysis: Statement on meeting between Ahmed Abdul Hussain (Mustamerroun) and Muqtada al-Sadr (5th July 2016)

Cooperation between Mustamerroun, the lead organisation from within the civic trend involved in coordinating the protests for reform in Iraq, and the Sadrist trend, has caused considerable controversy amongst activists and intellectuals in Iraq. Amongst those who reject this ‘alliance’ it is generally held that cooperation with the Sadrists, themselves deeply implicated in the development

Updated: Muqtada al-Sadr wears military uniform: Some thoughts on the secularisation of Muqtada al-Sadr

Update: 19/07/2016 Following from my post providing some analysis of Muqtada al-Sadr’s recent appearance in military garb, @toaf kindly forwarded some fascinating photos he recently took in Iraq. These photos indicate a strategy of integrating a military, nationalist-secular symbology alongside images of Sadr’s religious heritage (Baqir and Sadeq al-Sadr) in campaigns in various parts of Iraq. These