“We demand elections” says the sign. Because he knows Sharia advocates will win?
I’ve only been predicting this kind of thing would happen in Iraq for about a year, although I’ve been discussing the reasons why it’s happening for longer than that. Others, of course, have seen this coming for years. From Reuters:
Around 2,000 supporters of a hard-line Shi’ite Muslim group gathered in Baghdad Friday to denounce the country’s new interim constitution, in the latest show of strength by Shi’ites demanding greater influence.
The protesters were mostly supporters of the “Group of the Virtuous,” a Shi’ite group calling for direct implementation of Islamic law and the establishment of a theocratic political system similar to Iran’s.
“They want Iraq to split into many countries, and they want us to be their subjects,” they chanted. “We will never accept a constitution written by the Jews.”
Sheik Mohammad al-Yaaqubi, a self-proclaimed ayatollah who heads the group, said Shi’ite rights were being ignored.
“It’s the first democracy in which the opinion of the minority is dominant, while the majority are fighting for survival,” he said in a statement.
“This law has lots of gaps that can bring evil. Whatever is said to justify this document…is false.”
Shi’ites, who suffered years of oppression under Saddam Hussein, make up around 60 percent of the population.
Many say the interim constitution gives minority groups like the Kurds too much influence over Iraq’s future.
Iraq’s U.S.-appointed Governing Council signed the document Monday, but most Shi’ite council members said they were unhappy with it and hoped to make changes.
Iraq’s most revered Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a statement after the signing saying the interim constitution was deeply flawed.
The document will guide an Iraqi government due to take power on June 30 until a permanent constitution is drawn up next year.
At the Baghdad protest, young men waving Iraqi flags chanted slogans denouncing the United States and Israel.
“This constitution does not represent us. It is an attempt to stop the Islamists from taking power in this country. We denounce this constitution that was written by American hands.” said Ahmad Saed, 32, a shop owner who attended the prayers.
“The religious authority was not consulted in this constitution, it’s a pre-made dish cooked by the Americans and their puppets in the Governing Council. We are ready to sacrifice our lives to change this constitution,” said Sheikh Hadi Waeli, another protester.
Moqtada al-Sadr, a radical Shi’ite cleric with a large following among the Shi’ite urban poor in Baghdad, also denounced the constitution in a Friday sermon.