Friday, May 06, 2005

Iraqis: Islam Should Play Major Role in Government

A new poll of Iraqis shows that “three out of four believe Islam should be the main or only source of law and legislation in their country.”

But what does that mean? Judeo-Christian principles are one of the main sources of law in western democracies. Wanting religious values represented in legislation does not mean the Iraqi people want a theocracy.

Indeed, the poll also found that “48 percent of Iraqis continue to believe religion ‘has a special role to play in government’, while 46 percent believe religion and government ‘should respect one another.’"

The question becomes, should America actively push for an Iraq where church and state are separated, or should we welcome whatever form of government the Iraqi people want for themselves? In our opinion, America’s resources would be best spent fostering freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religious association and fair elections. If those key elements are in place, Iraq will be able to exist as a democracy—even if Islam plays a featured roll in the establishment of laws.


At 5:47 PM, Blogger Runnymede1215 said...

It´s not true that "Judeo-Christian principles are one of the main sources of law in western democracies".

Our laws are not based on religion, but on common sense, rational thinking and secular principles.

The Iraquis will hurt themselves badly when trying to have religion as an integral part of their political system.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Most European nations and America have, or at least had laws derived from their religious principles. It is true that, as our countries have matured, we have done a good job of substituting reason for religion. But there has been a religious influence in western culture's governments. Some countries, like Britain, still have a state church that receives state funding. That doesn't make them a theocracy.

In the case of Iraq, it probably won't be a problem if they use Islam to draw the broad outlines of the kind of society and the kind of laws they want. But, you are right, if Islam is the sole basis of their law, it's going to be hard for them to form a truly free society.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Runnymede1215 said...

alan stewart carl wrote:
"Most European nations and America have, or at least had laws derived from their religious principles"

Not really, those "principles" are so "common sense" that they are simply reasonable, in all cultures.

It's bad to steal, murder people, cheat, lie etc..

Not really Judeo-Christian methinks..

Regards, Runnymede1215

At 5:07 PM, Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

No, I agree with Alan Stewart Carl. Our legal system was based on two things - the Constitution and English common law. And English common law referred back to the decalogue.

I think if the Iraqis have the freedoms to debate, discuss and elect they will be able to decide their own fate. Like our system, my bet is that they will slowly evolve a set of secular principles that fit with their religious/cultural heritage. Iraq is not a homogenous country and I am impressed at the ability they have already shown to reach accommodations.

One other note - I read a lot of Iraqi bloggers and they don't want a government dominated by the mullahs. Iran is, after all, right next door and the population of Iran has been voting for liberalization consistently.


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