The Iraqi parliament prohibits all attempts at normalizing relations with Israel with the punishment of life imprisonment or capital punishment. The law was introduced by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the most seats in the last election.
Muqtada al-Sadr gained popularity in Iraq following the toppling of the Saddam government by the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Sadr has on occasion stated that he wishes to create an “Islamic democracy“.
The political correspondence of the Jewish TV Channel sees current events as precipitating a new ISIS style presence in the Middle East with hostile intentions towards the United States and its regional allies. Its Shiite composition could be a segue into Iranian influence in Iraq. Iran is predominantly Shiite. The Mahdi element also is a challenge to the end-of-days scenario envisioned by Judeo-Christian traditions, as it includes a violent struggle for predominance of Mahdi followers.
Sadr commands strong support (especially in the Sadr City district in Baghdad, formerly named Saddam City but renamed after the elder Sadr). After the fall of the Saddam government in 2003, Muqtada al-Sadr organized thousands of his supporters into a political movement, which includes a military wing known as the Jaysh al-Mahdi or Mahdi Army. The name refers to the Mahdi, a long-since disappeared Imam who is believed by Shi’as to be due to reappear when the end of time ivement has formed its own religious courts, and organized social services, law enforcement, and prisons in areas under its control. Western media often referred to Muqtada al-Sadr as an “anti-American” or “radical” cleric.
His strongest support came from the class of dispossessed Shi’a, like in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. Many Iraqi supporters see in him a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation. The Mahdi army was reported to have operated deaths squads during the Iraqi Civil War.[