Muqtada al-Sadr Condemns Interim Governing Council: “As bad as Saddam”
The young Shiite clerical leader Muqtada al-Sadr lashed out at the US-appointed Interim Governing Council on Friday, according to AP. He said that the new regime is not much different from that run by Saddam.
Muqtada was in large part referring to the plans by some on the IGC to arrest him, given his opposition to the US presence in Iraq. (They also suspect him in a murder and some other violence). In some ways Muqtada has been skating near the edge of arrest since April, but has refused openly to sanction attacks on US troops. His main offenses from a US point of view have been the organization of a militia and his strident anti-Americanism. Clerics loyal to him have been involved recently in clashes with US troops, but his own direct involvement in such incidents is unclear. In his sermon he implied that the IGC intends to arrest him merely for thought crimes.