"Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish negotiators all said there was accord on a bigger role for Islamic law than Iraq had before.
But a secular Kurdish politician said Kurds opposed making Islam "the" — not "a" — main source of law and subjecting all legislation to a religious test.
"We understand the Americans have sided with the Shi’ites," he said. "It’s shocking. It doesn’t fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state. … I can’t believe that’s what the Americans really want or what the American people want."
U.S. diplomats, who have insisted the constitution must enshrine ideals of equal rights and democracy, declined comment. " The Washington Times
Are we really going to accept a measure of responsibility for a constitution like that hinted at in the WashTimes story above?
Let us not kid ourselves, in a state which specifies in the constitution that laws must not "contradict" Islam, there will be profound change in the status of women, the status of non-Islamic religious groups, the status of what Americans think of as basic human rights. Iraq would be a profoundly different place under such a legal regime.
Why? It is because Islam is a religion which takes its form with regard to law on the basis of the collective opinion of Islamic jurists, not on any kind of fixed document like our "Bill of Rights." The majoritarian balance of power in the new Iraq will evidently be that of the "Twelver" or "Imami" Shia. This is the form of Shiism shared by both Iraqi Shia and Iranian Shia. "Twelver" Shiism functions on the basis of the opinions of certified wise men called Ayatollahs. There is great collegiality among these men whether they are in Iraq or Iran. The legal opinions of senior clerics either on the bench or standing "behind" it in Iraq will be deeply affected by the legal opinions of their colleagues in Qom and other places in Iran. That consensus now includes severe restrictions on the activities and status of women and minorities.
It is reported that Khalilzad, our ambassador in Baghdad, has been willing to compromise the rights of Iraqis, in his zeal to "close" on a draft constitution by tomorrow (22 August, 2005). If this is true, then we need an ambassadorwho understands what America is about and for what purpose our soldiers have suffered death and mutilation.
I have known Khalilzad for a long time. He was an advocate of the later withdrawn "Defense Policy Guidance" of the early ’90s which advocated the pre-emptive use of American power around the world to "do good."
To accept a regressive constitution which legitimizes discrimation before the law would hardly be "doing good."
Democracy? If a constutution is adopted which makes the coming of an Islamic state in Iraq inevitable, then there will be no more "purple thumb" days unless they are approved by the "fatwa" of clerical consensus.