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Iraq's Sadr takes aim at LGBTQ community

Leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr made the headlines again in Iraq by announcing his opposition to homosexuality, several months into his withdrawal from the political process.
Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gives a speech in the central holy shrine city of Najaf, Iraq, Aug. 30, 2022.

The controversy surrounding LGBTQ rights for participants and spectators at this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar have inspired new moves against the LGBTQ community in Iraq, where political leaders and parliamentarians are seeking to pass a law that criminalizes homosexuality.

On Dec. 3, a mass anti-LGBTQ campaign was launched in Baghdad’s Sadr City, less than 24 hours after leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr called for collecting 1 million signatures "in support of the fight against the LGBTQ community," so that "it does not spread vice,” as Sadr put it.

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