Sajjad said, “The whole idea of Karbala is to believe that it is the place where the number of the grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad was very high because he opposed the kingdom at that time, because he wanted the people to have their own Select a leader, because he wanted freedom,” said Sajjad. Ziad is an Iraq-based fellow at the US-based think tank, the Century Foundation.
That history gives a special resonance to the protest in Karbala.
“If the status quo is defeated, it will be elsewhere,” said Mr. Ziad. “It will be in Najaf. Will be in Basra. This will happen in other cities in the country where the stakes are equally high. Karbala could be the spark of something.”
But for now, the spark emanates from the barrel of the killer’s gun.
In August, Abir Salim Al-Khafaji, the city’s director of municipal services, was fatally shot He was inspecting the illegal residence in front of police officers and security cameras. The gunman was a Karbala man who was accused of illegally building on public land.
On paper, security outside religious places rests with the local police, but most residents of Karbala agree that the force is the weakest element in the security chain. Security forces include several paramilitary groups, including Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia accused of killing a US military contractor, and loyal to a paramilitary group. moktada al-sadri, populist Shia cleric.