Monday, August 22, 2005

Iraq Constitution Close...

...close, speak not of the cigar.

(I know, close stokes the fires of the cigar!)


Anti-Everything said...

I LOVE new constitutions, especially when it provides women less rights then they had under the Saddam regime.

Who cares that Iraq is going to become an Islamic state, joining such illustrious nations as Iran and Pakistan. I am glad that instead of being a secular state, as it was before the invasion, it will no longer be. I think the women of Iraq are going to be happy to have to ask a cleric for permission to get married, divorced, or basically anything else. And I bet that women sure do miss being forced to wear a burke in public, because who doesn’t want to wear a complete body cover in the Iraqi summer heat. This sure does sound a lot like the revolution in Iran, and this time we got to help.

And on top of this the new constitution may lead to a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites. Now who doesn’t love a good civil war to get the blood going? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they will start killing each other instead of U.S. troops, because I am sure the administration will tote that around as even more evidence that the war is going well.

Freedom is definitely on the march, and just think all of this freedom only cost us 1,866 American serviceperson’s lives and only 14,021 wounded in this noble quest of starting an Islamic state…hurrah for us!

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

It appears that the Iraqi constitution with regards to Islam will be similar to the Afghan consitution. It will provide for using Islam as "a" basis for law if not "the" basis for law. It appears to further stipulate that no laws should conflict with principles of Islam. However, it also will include a broad based bill of rights with all of the usual goodies. In the same clause that states that laws are not to conflict with Islam, it also states that laws are not to conflict with its bill of rights. Thus far, it appears that the arbiters of what would constitute a conflict with either Islam or the "Bill of Rights" would be a court appointed by the parliament which is elected. The real issue here is that the constitution presents two sources of law - Islam and Human Rights - which (depending on the interpretation of Islam) are inherently conflicting. Anti-everything's sputtering rage aside, his assertions are neither well-founded, nor entirely beyond the pale. We simply don't know what this process will render, but his projections could ultimately materialize. By the way anti, you should be more careful in some of your statements, Pakistan is not a theocracy. Rather, it is a secular dictatorship that has actively encouraged Islamism especially in neighboring countries like Afghanistan (read:Taliban) or in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

PiedPiper said...

I love it when you two fight. Seriously, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Anti-Everything said...

Xtra I am curious if you have a link to a translated text of the actual draft constitution that was released today. I have been searching all day for a translation and I have yet to find it, aside from a few excerpts that I have found quoted in recent news articles. I have found the Bill of Rights that was translated by Nathan Brown on July 27th, which I would assume is the text that you refer to when discussing the Bill of Rights.

The basis of my argument has been from people evaluating the leaked draft of the constitution that came out around the same time as the Bill of Rights. Below is an assessment of that constitution which was done by Iraqi woman’s rights activist Yanar Mohammed:

“The constitution draft which was circulated secretly eliminated the minimal rights women had under the previous 1959 “Personal Status Law”. Although this law was partly based on Islamic Shariaa, it included much reform that secured minimal standards of human rights for women, such as preventing marriage for female children and making polygamy more difficult for men – a practice that is allowed under Shariaa in addition to beatings, stoning, flogging and forced veiling.

The draft constitution indicates in its article 14 the elimination of the current law and refers family laws completely to Islamic Shariaa and to other religions in Iraq. In other words, it leaves women vulnerable to all inequalities and social hostility in addition to designating females as second rate citizens or semi-humans.”

Now like I said I have not been able to locate a translated version of the full text of the new draft so I would be interested to see what it actually says in regards to the role of Islamic law. I was able to find rush transcripts of an interview that Yanar Mohammed did today with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and according to her interpretation of the latest draft of the constitution it seems rather similar to the previous draft.

She stated:

“I have in front of me the chapter one from the constitution that determines very clearly that no article in below can go against the rulings of Islam. This is the priority. The second point is that no article in the law can go against the rules of democracy. In other words, if Islam says one man is equal to four women, that will be the basis, because following the rules of Islam is the priority.”

I realize that this is just one woman’s view of the new constitution, but she is also someone who has devoted a good portion of her life to advancing the causes of women in Iraq, so because of this I am willing to give her opinions more weight, especially since we are not even able to read Arabic (I am assuming you aren’t able to, if I am wrong please correct me), and thus have to rely on someone else’s translation and interpretation of it.

Also you are right, I was incorrect concerning Pakistan, they are not a theocracy, they are a dictatorship that advocates theocracy…I apologize.

xtrachromosomeconservative said...

Well, I have not seen a complete translation of the draft either. So I am equally culpable, but I will link it the moment I come across it and then I suppose we can have a more informed debate on the matter. It looks like we both got our filters.