Saturday, March 20, 2004

Iraq and Afghanistan need Separation of State and Superstition to Survive

How long can Iraq and Afghanistan remain democratic? They each have a large majority of one type of muslim religion that is constantly at war with the minority muslim religion.

Unfortunately, we've allowed their new constitutions to respect religious affiliations which guarantees they will either fail or return to dictatorship.

Our American constitution is the oldest continuously working constitution in the world and it is nearly perfect. Why didn't we just give Iraq and Afghanistan our constitution? They could amend it over time like we have done. Some Americans seem to be ashamed of our constitution but I think it is nearly perfect. It makes no distinctions based on race or ethnicity or religion - it's neutral toward all those issues that divide people. So why not use it as the starting point in Iraq and Afghanistan?

If George Bush had been smart, he would have insisted the new constitutions in Iraq and Afghanistan guarantee a separation of state and superstition but how could he do that with a straight face when his agenda here at home is to weezel his religion into our own constitution?

Here's part of an article from a New York Times editorial:
January 26, 2004

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Attacking Democracy From the Bench

By J ALEXANDER THIER

It took just 10 days from the passage of Afghanistan's new Constitution for the country's Supreme Court to violate the word and spirit of that hopeful document. Without any case before the court, and based on no existing law, the court declared on Jan. 14 that a performance by the Afghan pop singer Salma on Kabul television was un-Islamic and therefore illegal. "We are opposed to women singing and dancing as a whole and it has to be stopped," said the deputy chief justice, Fazl Ahmad Manawi.

Afghanistan's new Constitution is mostly a model of moderation, guaranteeing many rights and freedoms for men and women. But it has a very dangerous loophole: it states that no law can be contrary to the "beliefs and provisions" of Islam. Another section of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to determine whether laws and treaties made by the government are in accordance with the Constitution. Together, these two articles give the Supreme Court the power to reject virtually any law or treaty as un-Islamic.

The song performed by Salma on the broadcast, recorded in the 1970's, speaks of rural life and love for the nation. It is time for President Karzai to let freedom sing.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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