Saturday, August 20, 2005

US softens on Islam in constitution

THE United States has dropped its opposition to enshrining Islam as Iraq's main source of legislation in a bid to secure agreement on the text of a new constitution by a Monday deadline. Washington has been determined to see the target date met after a first deadline was missed last Monday, for fear that any loss of momentum in the political process will play into the hands of Sunni Arab insurgents. But the sources warned that the surprise shift of policy was as likely to complicate as to help the talks as the Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni negotiators remained deeply divided on the issue. "Last night's talks had a surprise element - the Americans appeared to give in to the demand from various Islamic groups that Islam be the main source of legislation," one source said, adding that US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was present at the negotiations. The role of Islam in lawmaking has proved a heavily divisive issue among negotiators with leaders of Iraq's Shiite majority insisting that religion be considered the main legal foundation, and that clerics should be given political roles. Kurds and other secularist groups oppose the Shiite demand, arguing that it would harm women's rights and Iraq's secular tradition. One Western diplomat with high-level involvement in the negotiations played down the significance of a strong role for Islam in the new constitution. "There's not a country in the region which does not have Islam as a main source of legislation," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "(The issue has) no real jurisprudential significance, it's more symbolic."


At August 20, 2005 2:59 PM, Blogger erp said...

I wish I knew more about whether to be upset about this or not. Anybody have any more insights than I do?

At August 20, 2005 3:06 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

You should be upset. This means Americans are funding the creeping Islamization of Iraq.

At August 20, 2005 3:15 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

I think the dangerous part is "and that clerics should be given political roles." I don't see anything wrong with clerics "running for office", but when they're "given" their positions, that's clearly not democratic.

I feel the country (US)is moving towards more of an isolationist stance. It won't take many conservatives to tip the scales in favor of a "to hell with the rest of the world" attitude, as the last election showed.

At August 20, 2005 3:28 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

Sissyblue: And that's exactly what the Islamic world wants. Split the West by playing the appeasement-instinct in Europe and the isolationist instinct in the USA.

At August 20, 2005 3:33 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Fjordman, You are right, and I think it's coming.

Hey, this is an interesting website:

At August 20, 2005 5:39 PM, Blogger bordergal said...


Here are some questions to ask yourself to help decide whether or not you should be upset.

Do you enjoy the sight of women in burkas?
Do you get a kick out of public stonings, beheadings, and amputations?
Do you believe that non muslims need to be kept in their place?
Do you think that Iran would be a wonderful place to raise a family?
Do you think that it is just fine and dandy for US soldiers to die in order to implement a government that contradicts everything in the US Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights?

Then by all means support an Iraqi constitution based on Islamic Law.

This is horrific.

This would create Iran, part II.
I would suggest going to jihadwatch for more information on why this is NOT a good idea.

US soldiers dying to implement Sharia Law? If that's the case, to #$%@ with Iraq, get our boys out NOW.

At August 20, 2005 6:17 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...


That's exactly the way people are begining to think. We tried to be nice, and offered them freedom, but they are barbarians. Tancredo's ideas are starting to look like the only logical choice. Isolationism, and STRONG retaliation if we're hit again. It's the only thing THEY understand. They're barbarians!!!

At August 20, 2005 6:39 PM, Blogger GunJam said...

This is pathetic. What does this show about the US State Department? Would it be the end of the world if an artificial "deadline" were extended a week or two?

I smell something rotten in "Denmark": and I think the odor is emanating from the closet Islamofascist-sympathizing US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, who has spent the past weak helping Hamas dismember Israel.

P.S. fjordman -- Thank you VERY much for the reciprocal link! -gunjam

At August 20, 2005 6:42 PM, Blogger GunJam said...

by the way, US talk radio host Michael Savage has been saying for MONTHS now that Bush's venture into Iraq may turn out to be the biggest military folly in years -- if it turns out that Iraq becomes absorbed by Iran as part of a new "Greater Persia."

At first, I laughed him off, as I am very pro-war.

Now, however, after watching the Bush Administration apparently working overtime to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I am no longer laughing at Savage's warning.

At August 20, 2005 7:19 PM, Blogger the adventuress said...

Bush has well and truly f*cked this up. This is a worse outcome than if Saddam had stayed in place.

At August 20, 2005 9:26 PM, Blogger reliapundit said...

rather than allow this we could immediately withdraw - or at least make the threat, as follows:

"if you do this we will vamsay! oh... and er um... good luck."

or this:

"we announce our support for the independent state of Kurdistan."

or we just accept that the new iraq will be more like pakstan than turkey, and move to the next front in the war: iran/syria/gaza.

At August 20, 2005 10:03 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I can find no way to be so passe' about this. It's our money and our blood that paid for this. And what did we buy, another Islamofascist government?

I hope you're right that we could just move on to the next phase of the War. However, I'm afraid the American Spirit will just shrivel up and die of shame.

We are not a country who can get by doing it all for ourselves. We've got to believe we're helping, or we have no will.


I have a question for you. What do you mean when you say that Condoleeza Rice is an Islamofascist-sympathizer, and that she's been helping Hamas? This is news I have missed.


At August 20, 2005 10:17 PM, Blogger The Orange Humanist said...

"There's not a country in the region which does not have Islam as a main source of legislation," the diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "(The issue has) no real jurisprudential significance, it's more symbolic."

Which countries is he talking about? Iran and Saudi Arabia? I'm sure that by them Islam is only 'symbolic'. Or maybe Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, where selling land to Jews and other non-Muslims is cosidered treason according to the Islamic based property laws?

Iraq is not the first case. A recent precedent was set when the US helped the Palestinian Authority formulate their laws.

At August 20, 2005 10:43 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

We need to bring the troops home and put them on OUR boarder. Then, we need to take our over-inflated energy budget (which includes a 200 million dollar bridge in Alaska which will service 5000 Alaskans) and pour the $ into developing alternative fuel sources. Let the muslims eat their oil.

At August 20, 2005 10:43 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Ooops, I meant "border" not "boarder"... hee, hee

At August 20, 2005 10:46 PM, Blogger Rick Darby said...

It fits perfectly with Bush's "religion of peace" twaddle. Lots of us were willing to give him a pass on that one, figuring that it was just said knowingly as tactical diplomatic cant.

The room temperature dropped quite a few degrees while I read about this development. Is it possible that ... please, no ... Bush actually believed what he was saying, or has been persuaded to believe it so as to open an exit door from a room that has become too malodorous to breathe in any longer?

Have we have spent over a thousand American lives plus others among allies and Iraqis to replace a monstrous but essentially secular dictatorship with an Islamic state run under sharia law? If so, the Iraq war and occupation was a ghastly mistake.

If that's how it turns out, we can thank the insane politically correct notion that it's only a handful of bad leaders and terrorists we need to worry about, and that Islam is just another branch of the Family of Man with a few charmingly quaint customs.

At August 21, 2005 12:36 AM, Blogger erp said...

Every time it looks like Bush has blown it, he surprises everyone by getting his opponents to do exactly what he wants, so I think I'll reserve judgment for a bit.

There'll be plenty of time to put my head in the oven when it's clear all is lost.

At August 21, 2005 1:16 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...

I do not believe Iraq was a mistake. We had to do the "right thing" first by offering them a chance to join civilization. If that doesn't work, which it looks like it won't if they insist on using their ignorant religion as a basis for their constitution, then we'll have to take the hard approach.

Their religion tells them that it's just fine and dandy to lie, murder, and destroy whatever they want. Only when they see that they will lose more than they gain will they calm down and try to get along.

From the beginning I was for the war, because it was the right thing to do; however, I was never convinced that muslims could ever live in civilized society. President Bush said that all people long for freedom. I'm not so sure about these people. I think they all long to be Supreme Dictator and Murderer over their own people.

At August 21, 2005 3:54 AM, Blogger felix said...

I agree with you. The overthow of Baathist Iraq had to be done. However the current push to make Islam the religion of Iraq from the Shiites is not unexpected. Islam is a drag on democratic institutions and civic culture. If people don't appreciate freedom of spech and press, fair court system, impartial public administration, etc., then democracy can be started, but it cannot be sustained.

At August 21, 2005 4:56 AM, Blogger RobertinArabia said...

The abolition of the freedoms enjoyed by Iraqui women and the freedom of religion enjoyed by Iraqui Christians under Saddam Hussein is the perfect result of the invasion of that country by the Coalition of Thieves.

At August 21, 2005 2:35 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

robertinarabia, You've been watching too much Al-Jazeera. Get a satellite dish!

At August 21, 2005 9:46 PM, Blogger RobertinArabia said...

"Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through
people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false." :
Bertrand Russell

At August 21, 2005 10:00 PM, Blogger nouille said...

With Theocracy just around the corner, Iraqi Pop Idol's days are numbered.
Iraq "Pop Idol" offers escape from daily grind

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - When their electricity isn't zapped by daily power cuts, Iraqis can pretend they live in a normal country with a normal cultural life by tuning into the Iraqi version of "Pop Idol."
Despite collapsing public services and the constant threat of death, more than 2,000 young Iraqis signed up for the talent show when al-Sumeria TV announced the venture earlier this year.

Many Iraqis already obsessively watch "American Idol," a version of the original British "Pop Idol" franchise, and a glitzy Lebanese copy called "Arab Superstar" on free-to-air Arabic satellite channels.

But "Iraq Star" is a brave indigenous effort to perk up the spirits of a depressed nation. The studio set is spartan and drab, and there is no studio audience, though viewers are being promised tinseltown touches when the finale is held in Beirut. ADVERTISEMENT

"We are trying to lighten the load and problems Iraqis are going through," said director Wadia Nader during recording of an episode this weekend in a Baghdad hotel.

"We had shows like this in the 1960s when people were discovered on television. But since then, with so many wars, Iraqis couldn't see this kind of thing," he added.

Drawing on a rich native heritage, the show takes Iraqis back to the era before Saddam Hussein and the successive traumas of war, domestic repression and international sanctions.

Most contestants choose well-known melancholy numbers about unrequited love, sung in an old classical style viewed as the piece-de-resistance of high culture in the Arab world.

"You just want the wounded lover to run after you; I know you and your nature," croons one young man called Hossam. He looks non-plussed as one of the three judges tells him he has pronounced some Arabic letters in far too nasal a fashion.


Another singer is upbraided for making a grammatical mistake in a metaphorical tale about a dead bird.

"You didn't prepare the song well. 'Slaughtered bird' is masculine, but you kept saying it in the feminine!" the judge gripes like a grammar teacher.

They all run numerous risks in arriving at the TV station, whose name reflects the pride of a nation whose history stretches back 5,000 years. It was the Sumerian civilization of Iraq that first invented writing.

Suicide bombs, assassinations, kidnappings, shootings by nervous soldiers in the U.S. or Iraqi army -- all have become daily fare in Iraq since the invasion put an end to Saddam's rule, which offered stability despite the oppression.

Most Iraqi pop stars have given up or fled the country because of the security situation and threats by Islamist extremists who frown upon singing.

"I don't regret it at all. Even if I lose, it's still a chance to be seen and do something without fear or hesitation," said young hopeful Lu'ay Hazem after singing before the panel.

Only a handful of women take part, reflecting the conservative nature of Iraq today and its Islamist-leaning government. Decades ago, Iraq had many famous female singers.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the public are lapping the show up, and it has become the stuff of daily conversation.

"Most of the singers aren't that good but maybe a few of them will go somewhere, if they get enough support," said Seif Makki, watching from his living room.

At August 22, 2005 4:51 AM, Blogger bordergal said...


Not all the Iraqis feel that way. What hurts me most is that the US GOVERNMENT may be willing to sell out the true hope of Iraq, which is a secular representative government. The disrespect to our soldiers and their tremendous sacrifices is just mind boggling.....but it's from our own GOVERNMENT! To die for a Sharia state that was imposed with the encouragement of the US? From a country which has a female Secretary of State, is hypocrisy at it's most loathsome!

I sent a message to the brothers at Iraq the Model asking them to please spread the word for the Kurds not to bow to US pressure. They are looking into local news to see how accurate the reports are, and are going to spread the word if necessary. (I just LOVE the internet!!!!!)

If the Iraqis choose a Sharia state freely (not because of US pressure), then I do not wish to sacrifice one more US soldier's life for them. If there is hope that the "good guys" will resist, and that Iraq can turn into a successful secular society, it is probably worth it to stay a bit longer.

I completely agree with you about borders, and I support the Minuteman Project and Tom Tancredo 100%. Hence the nickname!


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