The Danger of Islam in Post-War
August 29 2005
The daily news from
makes it painfully clear that
's plans are not going well. The
easy victory envisaged by the neo-conservatives is no-where in sight.
The stench of over 100,000 dead Iraqis along with almost 2,000, mostly
working class, American soldiers, will not go away, no matter how many
stage-managed speeches George W. Bush gives.
However, amidst all the suffering, a greater danger is brewing in
. The specter of an Islamic
government is becoming a real possibility. The
Bush administrationís enthusiasm in creating an Iraqi "democracy" is
now dampened by the possibility that Islam become a dominant force in the new
If Islam gains a foothold in the new constitution, it will
not only be seen as a victory by Islamists but it will relegate
's people, especially its women and its tiny non-Muslim minority, into
second-class citizenship. For all
their bravado, the neo-cons in Washington who sought war with
are silent on the issue of a secular constitution.
If they can impose a war, why canít they oblige a secular constitution?
With the current chaos in
, the irony is that Bush's policy may hand power to Islamósomething completely
contradictory to his claim that war was necessary because
harbored Islamic terrorism.
Regardless of our political convictions and the real causes
of war, we must accept that the
now has the power and the responsibility to leave
in a manageable state. If
loses its nerve, not only could
spiral into anarchy and dissolution, but in the south there is the danger of a
breakaway Shia Islamic province. Whatever
Hussain's many crimes were, his Baathist regime managed to keep the Islamists
out of Iraqi politics and provided a secular framework for all Iraqis.
Far from being an exporter of Islamic extremism, the Baathist ideology
was one of an ill-defined socialism and Arab nationalism, held together by an
authoritarian one-party rule. The
Baathists' success in keeping Islam out of politics should not be ignored by
. If the
had the nerve and political daring to invade
, they need now to have the decency and audacity to demand a secular
constitution and a basic charter of human rights for all Iraqis.
There must be no pandering to Islamic religious sentiment merely to
showcase respect for democracy. Now
is the time to be even more daring and demand a secular constitution and
codified human rights. What was won on the battlefield must not be squandered by
allowing Islam a back-door entry to influence