Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Future of Iraq

Iraq, the Model has a translation what will apparently be the final draft of the Iraqi constitution to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval and then ratified in October. Some key points, with Omar's (the fine blogger at Iraq the Model) comments in red and my own in blue.
Fundamental Principles and Rights:
Islam is the official religion of the state and it is the main source of legislations and it is not allowed to make laws that contradict the fundamental teachings of Islam and its rules (the ones agreed upon by all Muslims) and this constitution shall preserve the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people (with its Shea't majority and its Sunni component) and respect the rights of all other religions.
This is the deadliest point if approved; Islam or any religion cannot and must not be the main source of legislation.
Omar has a point. How do you 'respect the rights of all other religions' when the basis for legislation is one specific religion. Worse, what about what should be secular matters, such as divorce, marriage, property, inheritance, etc.?
Arabic language is the official language of the Iraqi state and Kurdish language is (together with Arabic) the official language in the region of Kurdistan and for the central government, regions and provinces have the right to choose any local language as an additional official language if the majority of its citizens approved the choice in a referendum.
No real problems there!
The Iraqi state is part of the Islamic and Arabic worlds or (the Iraqi state is a founding member of the Arab league and the Islamic conference organization).
Do we really need to put that in the constitution? After all, our "Muslim and Arab brothers" brought us nothing but troubles.
Omar makes a point there. Shouldn't it be obvious that Iraq is part of both worlds?
The Iraqi state is one entity in land, people and sovereignty.
I suppose this is to try and prevent the creation of some sort of Kurdistan. Good luck with that.
All ideologies that include racism, terrorism and "takfir" (or promote or publicize these concepts) are banned and especially the Saddmist Ba'ath and this one cannot be part of the political plurality of the state.
I wonder. Does this include anti-Semitism?
The state protects the basic rights of women including equality with men in accordance to the Islamic share'at and the state helps the women in creating
balance between their duties within their families and their duties within
the community.
Equality according to Islamic Share'at? Thia is totally new to me!
Historically, law according to Share'at has not done much for women. Not good. Is this really what Iraqi women would want? Consider that at least until the 1990's after the first Gulf War (when Hussein went all Islamist), Iraqi women had some of the most comprehensive freedoms in the Arab world (as free as possible in a totalitarian state, at least). This section needs to go.

You really need to read Omar's translation and commentary. I really am not doing it justice. He finishes his analysis with this fine close:

Although this document will be subject to further negotiations and modifications, my first look at it made me decide that I'm going to say "NO" to this constitution.Islam has been introduced in many clauses and not only Islam, sectarianism was introduced into the draft in a disgusting way and frankly speaking, such things will make me feel so unsafe if results of the referendum came positive for this draft...
And later:
We have fought for a long time to reach the point where we can write a constitution that serves our needs and protects our future from oppression and dictatorship.I say it once again, we're practicing AND learning democracy at the same time and the people may be fooled once but they can't be fooled all the time.

Look, say what you will about Iraq, the War on Terror, the Insurgency, the incompetent Administration...we have to hope that this man's dreams do come true and that this, at least, is something that the US doesn't screw up in Iraq. Lord knows we have screwed up enough already (CPA anyone?).
(Crossposted by Bostondreamer at FloridaBlues)
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