How can the US have been a player in new Iraqi constitution?

The new constitution of Iraq says:

Article 7.

A) Islam is the official religion of the State and is to be considered a source of legislation. No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam, the principles of democracy, or the rights cited in Chapter Two of this Law may be enacted during the transitional period. This Law respects the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice.

This constitution was signed by Iraqis, but can anybody doubt that the USA played a large role in bringing it to be, a role beyond toppling the Saddam government?

How can this be legal. No agents of the USA are permitted to take actions respecting the establishment of any religion. The 1st amendment does not just say "In the united states." I would say that US agents must play no role in creating foreign governments which have established churches.

The Iraqis, on their own and soverign, may decide to have an official religion. But they are not on their own here. I have no doubt it was Iraqi desires which led to the introduction of this article, and that the US probably didn't want it.

But the US is required to not just not want it. They are constitutionally forbidden from playing any part in it, I would say. Besides, the whole point of the 1st amendement is it doesn't matter what even the majority of individuals want with regards to religion, they are not to be given their way. It doesn't just say "in the USA." No agents of congress, including the military, may engage in this.

Of course, all this means is somebody could sue in US court that the US government violated the 1st amendemnt. It's not clear what remedy could be granted them.

Brad,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

AFAIK, the Congress was not involved with the drafting of the Iraqi constitution. It was solely an Executive Branch operation.

If we're going to start worrying about laws and the Constitution, there are certainly bigger fish to fry than the line about Islam being the official religion of Iraq. For instance: what about fighting an undeclared war? THAT'S unconstitutional, and to me, it subsumes the issue of the Iraqi constitution.

Just my $0.02.

Thanks for moderating RHF for so long!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

His name is Brad Templeton. You figure it out.
Please make up a name if you do not wish to give your real one.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Personal home pages only. Posts with biz home pages get deleted and search engines ignore all links
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options