Influential Iraqi cleric launches anti-LGBTQ campaign

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12/03/2022

An influential Iraqi cleric who announced his withdrawal from politics four months ago has broken a period of relative silence to launch an anti-LGBTQ campaign. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr posted a statement on Twitter Wednesday calling for “believing men and women (to) unite all over the world to combat (the LGBTQ community).” He added that this should be done “not with violence, killing or threats, but with education and awareness, with logic and ethical methods.” The religious leader’s call has stoked fears in the LGBTQ community, particularly given that al-Sadr’s followers have a history of violence. After the cleric announced his resignation from politics in August amid an impasse over government formation, hundreds of his angry loyalists stormed government buildings in the capital and set off clashes that left at least 30 dead.

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