Yet another manifestation of the incompatibility of the Sharia provisions in the Iraqi and Afghan constitutions with the pluralistic democracy that the State Department and the Administration have declared they want to plant in both countries.
By Andrew Tully for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
WASHINGTON, September 14, 2007 (RFE/RL) — One day after U.S. President George W. Bush touted successes in local reconciliation in Iraq, the State Department said religious freedom is often a victim in that struggling democracy.
But John Hanford, the State Department’s ambassador at large for religious freedom, said these problems involve more the country’s fragile security situation rather than any deficiencies in the government’s respect for religious freedom. In fact, he pointed to what he called the Iraqi constitution’s “robust guarantees” of religious freedom.
Yes, we saw how “robust” that guarantee was in Afghanistan during the Abdul Rahman apostasy case. The Sharia provision gives you all the religious freedom you want, within the limits of Islamic sharia law, which means essentially little religious freedom at all.
“Religious minorities are vulnerable, sometimes due to their small numbers and lack of organization,” Hanford said. “For the most part, people are getting caught in the crossfire. In the case of these minorities, though, there have been cases where it’s clear that certain groups have been targeted. The real problem that we’re dealing with is that, with the sectarian violence — not necessarily focused on religious practice — that at the same time religious practice winds up being affected.”
Afghanistan faces issues of religious tolerance, too, the State Department report finds. It cites a constitution requiring all laws to be consistent with Islam, nearly three decades of war, a period of rule by the Taliban, and immature democratic institutions as allowing intolerance, harassment, and even violence against religious minorities and some reformist Muslims.
What a surprise!