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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Weighing in on the Iraqi Constitution:

NRO's Andy McCarthy asks:

And for all of us who have said, time and again, that Islamic reform – which can only be done by Muslims themselves – is a crucial part of winning the overall war, how would establishing Islam as the Iraqi state religion achieve that? What is the incentive for reform if the United States thinks Islam, as is, is worthy of being established as the state religion in a place we have committed great effort to securing.

For days, I have been asking myself this and similar questions. Why is it so damned important for the Iraqis to accept a constitution that plainly will devalue Iraqi women? Do we really want to endorse the acceptance of a document that installs Islam as the "national religion" of Iraq? The founding fathers of America saw the danger of this mentality, and they guaranteed no such imposition here. Why is it then that U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad urges the Iraqis to work "in spirit of compromise" and "take the national interest into account" when considering the new national constitution of Iraq?

It is my view that the State Department sees stability as preferable to decency. Now, I am not one to criticize deposing Saddam Hussein, or encouraging a democratic movement in Iraq. However, if the Iraqi constitutional convention is any indication, the international community and the suits at Foggy Bottom could use a little history lesson. That lesson - theocratic rule leads to despotism.

Ultimately, a document that views women as second class citizens (as most forms of Islam do) and endorses Islam as the basis for governance is not worth the papyrus upon which it is printed. Yet, this is what we are encouraging in Iraq. Instead, we should be cultivating a spirit of debate and discussion, to ensure that what is best for everyone is what takes place. Urging the adoption of a constitutional theocracy in the midst of the most volatile region in the world is no way to accomplish that goal.


.: posted by Dave 10:43 AM

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