The Shiite Mandate
Sunday, February 06, 2005
In Iraq, the Shiite party is ready to take power in the new constitutional assembly. Bolstered by the elections, leading Shiite clerics are going to be working hard to promote an Islamic state for Iraq.
Shariah, would be a harsh departure from the transitional government
A system of government based on Koranic law, Shariah, would be a harsh departure from the transitional government which the United States has put into power. Senior Shiites have been quite unhappy with the law that was enacted by the interim government under heavy influence form American officials. While Shiite politicians have promised not to create a total theocracy similar to Iran, they have also made it clear that they consider Koran the only source acceptable for building the new government.
A State Department official said the United States "would urge an inclusive and participatory process," but that for now the Bush administration was simply watching the debate unfold. "This is an Iraqi process," said Edgar Vasquez, a State Department spokesman.
Under Shariah, women are not allowed the same rights as men in marriage, divorce, or family inheritance.
Shariah law, as laid out in the Koran would harm the cause of women’s rights the most. While American officials have pushed hard for equal rights for women, under Shariah, women are not allowed the same rights as men in marriage, divorce, or family inheritance. In inheritance, men get twice the share of a woman. And while a man can decide to marry as many women as he wants, women are not allowed to marry women at all. "We don't want to see equality between men and women because according to Islamic law, men should have double of women," said a spokesman for Ayatollah Yacoubi. "This is written in the Koran and according to God."
In some regions such as Basra, the heavy Shiite majority has already effectively enacted Shariah. Women can only walk the street dressed in head to toe black, alcohol sellers have been driven from the streets, judges are trying court cases based on Shariah, and cows walk the streets unmolested.