The influential radical Iranian regime-linked cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued a fiery anti-gay and anti-American diatribe against the city of Chicago in his effort to stop Iraqi women from protesting gender segregation.
Sadr tweeted last week that he “will not allow Iraq to become a Kandahar of religious extremists, nor a Chicago of immorality and homosexuality.”
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), “His statement is a reference to a slogan from Iraqi protests years ago, when demonstrators chanted ‘Baghdad will not become Kandahar, we want Baghdad to be Chicago.'”
Kandahar is located in Afghanistan.
According to MEMRI, Sadr “doubled downed on his earlier call for gender segregation, tweeting a lengthy statement in which he warned” that “I advise that group of deviants, the ISIS of liberalism and urbanization, not to follow their animal instincts and immoral lust. Otherwise, we will not stay silent about their offenses against religion, faith and the homeland.”
Sadr argues for a strict segregation between men and women. One of his tweets noted that demonstrators “must observe the legal and social rules of the country as much as possible” and gender mixing is prohibited.
According to MEMRI, “Sadr affiliate Mohammad Saleh al-Iraqi tweeted on February 10 a list of reasons why women and men should not protest together, in part because some female protesters do not wear the hijab and the protests have become an opportunity for ‘debauchery.”’
The fanatical Shi’ite cleric Sadr was harbored by Iran’s regime from 2007 until 2011 and studied in the religious city of Qom to advance his clerical resume.
In September 2019, he was filmed seated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the then Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force head Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani. The US eliminated Soleimani during a January military strike. Both the EU and the US classified Solemani as a foreign terrorist.
MEMRI wrote that “Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq, appears to be attempting to set himself up as a recognized religious authority in Iraq – even though his studies in the holy city of Qom in Iran have not yet qualified him to issue fatwas. His recent tweets appear to be aimed at pleasing Tehran, which follows the doctrine of velayat-e faqih, or rule of the jurisprudent, under which the leader is the custodian of the people. “
The institute added that “Empowered by his new status as a leader of the Iraqi resistance factions following his meeting in Iran with commanders of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Sadr, who has in recent weeks renounced the anti-government protesters, is now condemning them as ‘animals pursing their lust.’ He seems to be challenging the Shi’ite religious establishment as represented by Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.”