Another I told you so update. It is very much within the realm of possibility that the U.S. has toppled Saddam Hussein and stayed in Iraq for all this time only to see the creation of another Sharia state there. This would not and could not have happened if the Administration and the State Department had properly identified the source of Islamic terrorism in the Qur’an and the Islamic doctrine of jihad, and in the impulse to impose Sharia that comes from and works through those sources. But because they persist in illusions about Islam, and persist in listening to the wrong people, they may well end up creating a problem greater than the one they solved.
One would think that the example of Saudi Arabia and Iran would be enough to show them that above all they don’t want another Sharia state. But of course, Jaafari assures us that Iraq won’t be like that; it will presumably be Sharia with a human face. It will be interesting to see where he will draw the lines that will have to be drawn to create and maintain this humane form of Sharia, and how long they will last in the face of inevitable pressure from hardliners.
From AFP, with thanks to Nicolei:
IRAQ’S frontrunning Shiite candidate for prime minister, Ibrahim Jaafari, said in an interview he aimed to introduce sharia Islamic law and federalism and confirmed Saddam Hussein would be judged by the end of the year.
“It’s understandable in a country where the majority of people are Muslim,” Mr Jaafari said of the Sharia law, in an interview conducted in Baghdad due to appear in Tuesday’s edition of German magazine Der Spiegel.
“Iraq should become a Muslim country but without falling under the influence of Iran or Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“Everyone will have the same rights, even members of the many minor religious communities,” he said, explaining there would be multiple forms of jurisprudence.
This probably refers to the Sharia provision that dhimmi communities govern their own internal affairs, and are not subject to Sharia courts. But the idea that “everyone will have the same rights” is going to collide with numerous Sharia precepts. How he succeed in creating and maintaining this smiley-face version of Sharia?
He also said women would be under no legal obligation to wear a veil.
“They will make their own decisions,” the Shiite candidate said.
Same problem again: his statement conflicts with Sharia. Maybe it’s because, as noted below, he doesn’t want “a strict application of sharia law,” but, as I said above, it remains to be seen how he will draw this line and preserve it.
According to results of a poll released yesterday, most Iraqis are deeply attached to their Islamic identity but do not want a strict application of sharia law, as in neighbouring Saudi Arabia or Iran.
About 48 per cent of those interviewed agreed that “religion has a special role to play in the government”, while 46 per cent supported a separation of state and mosque.