What happened in Tahrir square on Friday (when the Sadrists stayed away)?

Last Saturday (July 30th, 2016) Muqtada al-Sadr released a statement in which he announced that the Sadrist trend would not participate, for a period of 30 days, in ongoing protests against corruption in Baghdad’s Tahrir square. In his statement Sadr said that: ‘There are those who do not attend the protests because of the presence

Post for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts: IRAQI ACTIVISTS FIGHTING BACK AGAINST LEGISLATION WHICH SEEKS TO RESTRICT CIVIL LIBERTIES

An expanded version of a recent post has been put up on 1001 Iraqi Thoughts. “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,

“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

Fallujah and the Public Sphere: English / Arabic Comparison, Part I

This is the first of a series of posts in which I will present analysis on data collected on the networked-public sphere surrounding the ongoing battle for Fallujah. I’ve been messing about with some data mining, analysis, and visualisation techniques and thought a comparison of how the English vs Arabic language twitter spheres have responded to

Translation and analysis: ‘Ministries without quotas’ Iraqi Writer’s Union letter to Iraq’s leaders and the origins of Iraq’s technocracy discourse

While the Fallujah operation, al-hashd al-shaabi, and the fight against ISIS have been grabbing the international headlines, Iraq’s political process and structures are also under considerable pressure from a long-running protest movement demanding fundamental political reform. One Iraqi analyst has described this movement as: ‘the first large-scale popular challenge to the consensus on the Iraqi

Hadi al-Amiri in apparent volte-face on role of hashd in storming Fallujah

The front page story of Rudaw Arabic is reporting on a statement made by Hadi al-Amiri, Commander of Badr Organisation and senior leader in al-hashd al-shaabi, which appears to represent a complete reversal of his previous commitment that the hashd militias would only secure the perimeter of Fallujah and would not enter the city, leaving that task to