Edging toward civil war? Maybe — but in any case neither side seems concerned about the stipulation that no law can be made that contradicts Islamic law. From AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Angered by Shiite calls for a federal region, Sunni clerics urged followers Friday to vote against the constitution if it contains measures they believe would divide the country in a dispute that threatened to delay the charter’s completion by a Monday deadline.
Also Friday, a U.S. Apache helicopter crashed in northern Iraq, injuring two U.S. forces, and a roadside bomb killed an American soldier in the central city of Tikrit, the military said.
Iraq’s three major Sunni organizations appeared to have taken a united stand both for voting and against demands for federalism after they boycotted the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections.
Sunni Arab leaders were responding to a demand by a leading Shiite lawmaker for provisions to allow local Shiite control in the southern and central parts of the country. Sunni Arabs fear they will lose out on oil revenues if the country is split into federated zones.
“We reject it wherever it is, whether in the north or in the south, but we accept the Kurdish region as it was before the war,” said Kamal Hamdoun, a Sunni member of the committee drafting the constitution. Some Shiite leaders want to replicate the success of Kurdish leaders in the north who govern an autonomous part of the country.
“The aim of federalism is to divide Iraq into ethnic and sectarian areas. We will cling to our stance of rejecting this,” Hamdoun said.
The dispute threatened to delay the drafting of a constitution, just three days before a deadline for it to be approved by parliament.
But even if that deadline is met, the Sunnis appeared to be warning that they could still bring down the charter when it is put before voters in an Oct. 15 referendum, which is to be followed by general elections in December.