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NIJamesHughes

New Iraqi Constitution

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With the exception of what at this time appears to be a cosmetic acknowledgement of Islam, (sorta reminds me of that "we are endowed by our creator" line from our own documents) what specific passages of the New interim Constitution do you object to?

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Chapter One -- Fundamental Principles

Article 3  [supreme Law]

(A) This Law is the Supreme Law of the land and shall be binding in all parts of Iraq without exception. No amendment to this Law may be made except by a three-fourths majority of the members of the National Assembly and the unanimous approval of the Presidency Council. Likewise, no amendment may be made that could abridge in any way the rights of the Iraqi people cited in Chapter Two; extend the transitional period beyond the timeframe cited in this Law; delay the holding of elections to a new assembly; reduce the powers of the regions or governorates; or affect Islam, or any other religions or sects and their rites.

Article 7  [state Religion, Freedom of Religion, Arab Nation]

(A) Islam is the official religion of the State and is to be considered a source of legislation. No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam, the principles of democracy, or the rights cited in Chapter Two of this Law may be enacted during the transitional period.  This Law respects the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice.

And what are the "the universally agreed tenets of Islam"?

In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of spectacular and gruesome punishments (such as amputation of one/both hand(s) for theft, or stoning for adultery) without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony (including the necessity of four eyewitnesses, with women's testimony counting no less than that of a man). Such measures are usually introduced to gain support of local ulema who are often community leaders in rural areas.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia)

By putting Sharia law in place, [new Afgani president] Karzai effectively shut down any freedom of expression, freedom of press and religion, equality under the law, and the right not to be tortured. These may seem like basic rights, but they are certainly not basic under Sharia law.

  According to the Associated Press, Shinwari keeps a sword and a leather lash above his desk as the symbols of Sharia justice.

Shinwari is also against any practice of other religions. Calling non-Muslims "infidels" explains his overall view.

Reuters quoted him saying: "The Islamic government, according to sharia, is bound to punish those who get involved in anti-Islamic activities.

We can punish them for propagating other religions - such as threaten them, expel them and, as a last result, execute them." Shinwari told National Public Radio that Islam has "three essential rules."

First a man should be politely inivited to accept Islam; second, that if he does not convert, he should obey Islam.

The third option, if he refuses, is to "behead him." So much for freedom of religion.

We are witnessing a return to the dark ages where "infidels" are executed and women are not allowed to leave their homes.

(http://www.southend.wayne.edu/days/2003/September/9252003/oped/humanrights/humanrights.html)

Comparing the above to the founding American documents is just plain dishonest.

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"And what are the "the universally agreed tenets of Islam"?

QUOTE 

In practice the new Sharia courts in Nigeria have most often meant the re-introduction of spectacular and gruesome punishments (such as amputation of one/both hand(s) for theft, or stoning for adultery) without respecting the much tougher rules of evidence and testimony (including the necessity of four eyewitnesses, with women's testimony counting no less than that of a man). Such measures are usually introduced to gain support of local ulema who are often community leaders in rural areas. 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia)"

CF,

These are not "the universally agreed tenets of Islam" ask any muslim about this , and he will refer you to the five pillars Of Islam. which have nothing whatsoever to do with Sharia.(Sharia by nature can not be A universal tenet since its definition is shaped by the "legal" precedents set by the individual sub-cultures of Islam... People in Afghanistan adhere to and accept different fatwas than people in Turkey for instance) "universally agreed tenets of Islam" usually reffers to the Five Pillars.

As far as "dishonesty" you will have to be a little more specific. I certainly wasn't comparing the document as a whole, only certain limp phrases from it.

True or False; Both the Dec of Ind. and the Interim constitution make references to a Divine Source of law.

True or False ; The United States was able to overcome that problem because of the social/political climate that was able to be established there.

Are you suggesting "the creator" or "the year of our lord" are anything more than cosmetic??? Or are you suggesting that the interim constitution is anything more than interim? Or do you think that Bremer will allow Sharia in Iraq?

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CF,

I believe you meant to address your post to GC :lol: but let me respond to one of your points.

Thomas Jefferson was a Deist and he certainly didn't intend to place U.S. law on a mystical basis when he wrote "endowed by their Creator." He explicitly stated that the purpose of a government is to secure people's rights--THAT is the basis for the government he helped create. And it is an explicit repudiation of Christianity as a source of law: the fact that the government is there protect the rights of individuals means that the government isn't there to enforce Christianity.

Article 7 of the new Iraqi constitution makes Islam "the official religion of the State" and "a source of legislation." In other words, it says that it is the purpose of the government to enforce Islam.

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CF, sorry about the name confusion... anyways thanks for your reply,...

You are correct, Jeffferson and his Boys ("boys" in the associative sense, not in the out of wedlock child sense :lol: )were Deists, no question about that..

But my point wasnt about the intent of the words in the respective constitutions, but rather the implications... After all The British dont have a constitution, much of theirs is rooted in the "magna carta" which has all sorts of crazy irrelevant shit in it.

The implications will all be determined by the political climate which surrounds it. and heres the Political climate that I see;

A) the Kurds have had a taste of the beginnings of freedom and the advantages of a quasi market economy in the past 10 years and they like it.

B ) The most influential leader inSoutherm Iraq is a Quietist.(Read Does not like Integration of church/state. )

C) Neither Carl Rove and the White House nor Bremer and the CPA are shooting for a de facto theocracy

D) Iraq was purged of Maddrassas by Hussein, and the literacy rate was raised. furthermore Iraq is a cosmopolitan society which seems to have the basis for some real enterpreneurship

E. The Polls seem to suggest that Iraqi's do not want an Iranian style theocracy, and that their biggest concerns are security and money

Is it still a craps shoot, yes... But the most important part of the craps shoot will be the United States ensuring influence in the area for quite some time.

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What we have in Iraq now is a political fight between theocracy and liberty. The mentions of Islam in the constitution are a concession to the proponents of theocracy--and a completely unnecessary one, I would say. Yes, you are right that the general political climate is more favorable to the forces of freedom, but this is exactly why we should not squander this opportunity by emboldening the enemy.

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I share those concerns and of course assume that everyone here agrees that it would be better for the US to make progress in getting that wording out.

As for the assertion that it was "unnessecary" It seems that its a little monday morning quarterbacking. The compromise was obviously perceived as necessarry for some reason or another, and I believe that the CPA would have avoided it if they thought it was possible. After all it certainly didnt score any domestic points and as you point out it was not the best outcome for Iraq....It seems that the compromise was made for other reasons;

After all we have hopefully killed or captured many of the secularists (I say hopefully because the ones we were after were not the type of secularists that we want in power)

Now with their "moderate" base medicated, it will be possible to go after groups such as SCIRI and disarm them. ( I dont think they will, but I hope they do) Once these groups have been disarmed though, it would be stupid not to soften up the language even more in a year or two.

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Capitalism Forever Posted on Mar 12 2004, 04:01 AM

  I fear that the reason for it has to do something with "compassion" ... 

I don't understand where that fear is grounded??? If you are refferring to "compassionate conservatism", I would have to disagree, since the Political Base for such an "ideal" Is grounded in the Christian Right... And the Christian Right which Bush has chosen to associate itself with has shown no affinitty for Islam.

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No, but I fear that President Bush is trying to be "compassionate" with the people who would like to see Islam mentioned in the constitution.

It is true that Christians see Muslims as their enemies--but it is also true that Christianity teaches them to "love their enemies."

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