Shafaq News/ Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement, issued a stark warning on Friday, cautioning against events that he described as "violations of norms."
His comments were about the Iraq International Festival held in Baghdad's Green Zone, attended by Iraqi and Arab figures.
Al-Sadr criticized what he perceived as excessive openness, linking it to normalization and the spread of homosexuality, sentiments that garnered mixed reactions.
"We warn Islamic countries against increasing openness that leads to normalization and the spread of homosexuality," said al-Sadr. He expressed concern about the festival violating societal norms and emphasized the Iraqi people's rejection of such developments.
The festival controversy deepened after Prime Minister's Advisor for Cultural Affairs, Arif Al-Saadi, clarified the government's limited involvement. Al-Saadi stated that the government supported the festival's concept but provided no financial assistance. Notable Arab and Iraqi artists were honored at the event, which included speeches praising Baghdad's cultural revival.Acknowledging the festival's errors, Al-Saadi criticized the presence of "bloggers and Fashionistas," considering them inappropriate. He defended the festival's rescheduling, explaining that it coincided with national mourning due to a tragic incident in Al-Hamdaniya