Monday, July 25, 2005

Will Sharia Be the Law in Iraq?
Will We Mock Our Own Principles?

The Iraqi Constitution may not turn out to be something that is worth our investment:

Baghdad, 25 July (AKI) - Iraqi women are alarmed that the National Assembly committee mandated to draft the country's new constitution is curtailing the rights of women granted them in the earlier, interim version and using Islamic Sharia law as the main source for legislation, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has said.

Two weeks ago, a draft of the text, released to journalists by a member of a sub-committee of the main constitutional committee, contained a chapter on duties and rights, changing the status of Koranic Sharia law from being an important source of legislation in the interim constitution to being the main source, UNIFEM said.

In the draft, a clause putting 25 per cent of women on all decision-making bodies would only be followed for the next two election phases and could then be removed altogether, it said.

Factors in ensuring women's equality with men and issues addressed by international laws and treaties would all be subordinate to Sharia and the progressive personal status law governing marriage, divorce and inheritance would be replaced by the law as practised according to a family's own religion or sect, UNIFEM said.

The Iraqi women's movement recently prepared a memorandum making such demands as the recognition of women's human rights as mother, worker and citizen, the prevention of all kinds of violence and discrimination against women and the recognition of international conventions and documents that Iraq has signed and ratified as a source for Iraqi legislation and regulation, it said.

Some 200 men and women staged a protest against the draft in Baghdad's Firdaws Square last week, but the sit-in ended when news reached them that two Sunni members of the drafting committee had been assassinated, UNIFEM said.

If this is the Constitution the Iraqis end up with, we will have wasted our time, money, not to mention the precious lives of our soldiers. This is not acceptable. George Bush can not allow this.

The decision must be made. Is this war about freedom, or is it about realpolitik? Words don't matter. Only the final result of our sacrifices matters. If this is a war about realpolitik, then I am not a supporter.

If this war is not about Freedom, then we have made fools of ourselves. We have mocked our own Declaration of Independence, and our own Constitution.

I don't know about all of you, but I have not come all this way to be mocked.

And everyone else needs to make that decision as well. I said back in February of 2005 that I would never again vote for a Democrat. If George Bush allows this to happen to the people of Iraq, then I will never again vote for a Republican either.

I Hold This Truth To Be Self-Evident - All People Are Created Equal

If our government will not live up to this principle, then we need to throw out all those who are leading us. It will be time for another Constitutional Convention. And one of the Amendments will have to be that we never be led into a war which does not promote our own principles.