Islamic Justice: The Religious Militia Muscles In

Ten days after Mahmoud Shakir Mohsen arrested a member of the religious militia, the religious militia arrested him. "They told me, 'Your time is over,'" says the police sergeant. "'Now it's our time.'" Bound and blindfolded, Mohsen was taken to the Islamic courts of Muqtada al-Sadr, the most militant cleric in the holy city of Najaf, where he was beaten with a police baton and held in an underground prison for 16 days, until his commanding officer negotiated a $200 fee for his release.

As the police struggle to preserve order in Iraq, some Islamic groups like al-Sadr's religious militia, Jaish...

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