It was a slap in the face to Sunni Arabs. This weekend marks Eid al-Adha, the Holy Day of Sacrifice, on which Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son for God. Shiites celebrate it Sunday. Sunnis celebrate it Saturday –- and Iraqi law forbids executing the condemned on a major holiday. Hanging Saddam on Saturday was perceived by Sunni Arabs as the act of a Shiite government that had accepted the Shiite ritual calendar.
So it is all very strange. I would have thought they would have chosen a neutral day, to minimise the damage to intra-community relations.
The story of Abraham and Isaac (Ishmael in Moslem tradition) is a very strange one. Kierkegaard (an outstanding Christian philosopher) wrote a classic work of existentialism 'Fear and Trembling' about this story and its implications for religious faith and the willingness to kill another. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in philosophy or religion. I personally find the story unconscionable, but that's just me.
But what strange timing. Inept or deliberately provocative?