Got your Iraqi scorecard handy? The Ayatollah Sistani, remember, is the moderate pro-democracy one who did not want to see a clerocracy in Iraq. Why did he support the elections? Not because he is some Iraqi Jefferson, but because he knew they would secure power for Shi'ites in Iraq. We saw quite some time ago that he wanted Sharia in Iraq, but others as recently as July 26 continued to delude themselves that he represented a "more benign Islam." Well, time to face the facts. "Cleric Hopes Islam Basis for Law in Iraq," from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
NAJAF, Iraq - The Iraqi prime minister said Friday that the country's leading Shiite Muslim cleric hopes the constitution being drawn up will enshrine Islam as the main source of legislation — something opposed by Kurds and some Iraqi women activists.
A younger radical Shiite cleric, meanwhile, urged Iraqis to participate in the constitutional process but added that he personally would not vote in elections planned for year's end because of the presence of foreign troops.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari commented on the constitution after spending nearly two hours with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most influential cleric in the Shiite Muslim community, which makes up 60 percent of Iraq's population....
Al-Jaafari later met with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has toned down his opposition to the U.S.-led coalition since his supporters staged a failed uprising last year, and Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim, one of four Shiite grand ayatollahs but who does not have a high profile politically.
After that meeting, al-Jaafari was asked whether al-Sistani wants Islam to be the main source of legislation or one of the sources.
"Ayatollah al-Sistani does not want to impose dictation on drafting the constitution, but according to my knowledge he hopes that Islam become the main source of legislation," al-Jaafari replied.
Al-Sadr also told reporters that every Iraqi should be involved in the constitutional process, although he added that he would not participate in the planned Dec. 15 elections.
"I will not take part in the presence of occupiers, but I will give the freedom to whoever wants to join," he said.
The key points of disagreement on the constitution include the role of Islam, Iraq's identity, federalism and the country's language.