Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Law No. 137

The latest hot topic being discussed among Iraqis, is IGC Law 137 passed in late December. The best explanation I have read, is the one written by riverbend under the title "shari'a and family law",I totally agree with her assessment and there is no need to add my 2 cents worth.
I just would like to point out that, the Arab development report sponsored by the UN in 2002, praised and regarded Iraq as the leading country in the middleast enshrining laws that achieve equality for women. I guess with the passing of the recent law we have lost that standing.
What I would like to comment on is a news report I saw on Sunday on Aljazeera channel. Aljazeera reported that there was demonstration of women who are supporting this law, which I found quite odd. I just want to understand how can these women support a law which,

1. Makes it easier for men to marry a 2nd, 3rd, wife?
2. Strip the advantages they have in cases of divorce?
3. Makes them lose out in cases of inheritance?
4. Allows little girls to get married as soon as they hit puberty, with their father’s consent?
5. Allow men to wed in Zawaj Motaa (temporary marriage)? (Prostitution by the back door)

Don’t get me wrong I believe in the right of people demonstrating, but demonstrators usually take to the streets to demand a better life for themselves, not the other way around.

The other thing I saw, is a woman being asked about the law, I did not really listen to her, but what was interesting is the way she started her answer. She said “Mr.Albdul Aziz Al-Hakim (IGC president for the month of December) hafathahoo Allah (God protects him)…” This title of (God protects him) was reserved for Saddam, no official document, newspaper, and TV show forgot to mention that title, if they did, I believe there would have been serious consequences. So do we have another Saddam on our hand in religious cloth?

I think it is quite frightening the lurch into politicised Islam in Iraq by lots of people. Political Islam in Iraq will never unite the country but will make it more divided, which might lead to civil war in the end. I really do hope ordinary people realise that before it is too late, and start moving away from it.

Finally, I would like to thank Bush, and his right wing freaks for unleashing and appeasing this force in Iraq. Iran tried for 8 years through a bloody war to change Iraq into a theocracy, and it failed miserably. The USA is doing it in less than a year. Khomeini must be dancing in his grave.



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