Iraq the Model has the latest breaking news on what the Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds are agreeing (or not agreeing) to regarding the Iraqi Constitution. I’m troubled by one update (emphasis added):
Regarding Islam and the constitution: it was agreed upon that no laws that are against the widely agreed upon values of Islam can be issued and no laws that are against the values of democracy and human rights can be issued. Natural resources according to the draft will be managed in cooperation between the central government and the local administrations of the federal states/provinces.
What does that mean? Could those two standards possibly co-exist? Andy McCarthy at NRO makes some great points here:
Now, if several reports this weekend are accurate, we see the shocking ultimate destination of the democracy diversion. In the desperation to complete an Iraqi constitution – which can be spun as a major step of progress on the march toward democratic nirvana – the United States of America is pressuring competing factions to accept the supremacy of Islam and the fundamental principle no law may contradict Islamic principles. There is grave reason to doubt that Islam and democracy (at least the Western version based on liberty and equality) are compatible. But that is an argument for another day. The argument for today is: the American people were never asked whether they would commit their forces to overseas hostilities for the purpose of turning Iraq into a democracy (we committed them (a) to topple a terror-abetting tyrant who was credibly thought both to have and to covet weapons of mass destruction, and (b) to kill or capture jihadists who posed a danger to American national security). I doubt they would have agreed to wage war for the purpose of establishing democracy. Like most Americans, I would like to see Iraq be an authentic democracy – just as I would like to see Iran, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc. be authentic democracies. But I would not sacrifice American lives to make it so. But even if I suspended disbelief for a moment and agreed that the democracy project is a worthy casus belli, I am as certain as I am that I am breathing that the American people would not put their brave young men and women in harm’s way for the purpose of establishing an Islamic government. Anyplace. It is not our place to fix what ails Islam. But it is utter recklessness to avert our eyes from the fact that militant Islam thrives wherever Islam reigns. That is a fact. When and where militant Islam thrives, America and the West are endangered. That is also a fact. How can we possibly be urging people who wisely don’t want it to accept the government-institutionalized supremacy of Islam? And if the United States, in contradiction of its own bedrock principle against government establishment religion, has decided to go into the theocracy business, how in the world is it that Islam is the religion we picked?
We haven’t sacrificed the blood of American soldiers to set up an Islamic state. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a Constitution free of laws based on Islam. Stay tuned to the Iraq the Model blog for updates on the debate over the Iraqi Constitution. Linking up with OTB’s traffic jam. Tuesday morning update: La Shawn Barber comments and wonders the same thing I’ve been wondering:
You needn’t be an Islamic or constitutional scholar to see the contradictory elements here. Iraq, according to items 1a and 1b of the draft constitution, will be a democracy, which means government “by the people,” but at the same time, subject to Islamic law. What kind of democracy is that? And one type of law can’t contradict the other. Aren’t Islam and democracy inherently contradictory? What kind of shell game are these people playing?