Saturday, January 17, 2004

Democracy, Whisky, Sharia?

Yes, in toppling the regime of Saddam Hussien, we freed the Iraqi people.

Well, less than half of them anyway.

BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 -- For the past four decades, Iraqi women have enjoyed some of the most modern legal protections in the Muslim world, under a civil code that prohibits marriage below the age of 18, arbitrary divorce and male favoritism in child custody and property inheritance disputes.

Saddam Hussein's dictatorship did not touch those rights. But the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council has voted to wipe them out, ordering in late December that family laws shall be "canceled" and such issues placed under the jurisdiction of strict Islamic legal doctrine known as sharia.

...This week, several moderate council members spoke strongly against the decision in public forums, calling it a threat to both civilized progress and national unity. Nasir Chaderchi, a lawyer and council member who heads the National Democratic Party, criticized the council's action at a professional women's meeting Thursday. "We don't want to be isolated from modern developments," Chaderchi told the gathering of the Iraqi Independent Women's Group. "What hurts most is that the law of the tyrant Saddam was more modern than this new law." He said he hoped women would continue to protest until the order was reversed.

Great. So not only is Iraq showing huge signs of becoming a theocracy once we withdraw, but prominent Iraqi women are actually saying they were better off under Saddam! Not only do I have some doubts as to whether or not we have planted the seeds of Democracy, there's that ever present hearts and minds issue. Sharia is probably going to be implemented, and Iraqi women are saying that at least the tyrant didn't single out women for opression.

Story via Body and Soul.

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