Islamic Law in Iraq?
One of the concerns about bringing full-fledged democratic elections to Iraq was that it might result in an Islamist government ruled by Islamic law. From a humanrightsfreedomdemocracyliberty! standpoint (which we seem to care about in this instance), this would be disconcerting since strict Islamic law isn't particularly kind to women. So what to make of this?:
The turnout for the top-finishing electoral list, a coalition of Islamist parties supported by the Shiite clerical establishment, has convinced leading clerics in Najaf that religious parties will have a majority in the National Assembly that will write Iraq's next constitution, several of them said.
The clerics of Najaf who orchestrated the Shiite coalition say they expect a constitutional debate between hard-line Islamists, who want Quranic law to be the constitution's primary source, and moderate Muslims who want a milder form of religious law. This debate, they say, will dwarf any challenge from secular parties.
It's important to remember that this election, although a step in the right direction, only chose the parties that would put forth the people to draft an Iraqi Constitution. An election where real leaders are chosen won't come until the end of this year. Thus, given the intensity and variety of political, religious, and cultural factors trying to inluence the drafting of this Constitution, we're by no means out of the woods yet. In reality, the response to the election results will be far more important than the election itself.
On a side note, this is embarrasingly ridiculous.