Iraqi cleric's views

etech

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Iraqi cleric's views

"...
Jamaleddine, age 42, grew up in Iraq, sought exile in Iran after one of Saddam's anti-Shiite crackdowns, tasted the harshness of the Iranian Islamic revolution firsthand, moved to Dubai, and then returned to Iraq as soon as Saddam fell. Here is a brief sampler of what he has been advocating:
On religion and state: "We want a secular constitution. That is the most important point. If we write a secular constitution and separate religion from state, that would be the end of despotism and it would liberate religion as well as the human being. . The Islamic religion has been hijacked for 14 centuries by the hands of the state. The state dominated religion, not the other way around. It used religion for its own ends. Tyrants ruled this nation for 14 centuries and they covered their tyranny with the cloak of religion. . . . When I called for secularism in Nasiriyah (in the first postwar gathering of Iraqi leaders), they started saying things against me. But last week I had some calls from Qum, thanking me for presenting this thesis and saying, 'We understand what you are calling for, but we cannot say so publicly.'
"Secularism is not blasphemy. I am a Muslim. I am devoted to my religion. I want to get it back from the state and that is why I want a secular state. . . . When young people come to religion, not because the state orders them to but because they feel it themselves in their hearts, it actually increases religious devotion. . . . The problem of the Middle East cannot be solved unless all the states in the area become secular. . . . I call for opening the door for Ijtihad [reinterpretation of the Quran in light of changing circumstances]. The Quran is a book to be interpreted [by] each age. Each epoch should not be tied to interpretations from 1,000 years ago. We should be open to interpretations based on new and changing times."
How will he deal with opposition to such ideas from Iraq's neighbors?
"The neighboring countries are all tyrannical countries and they are wary of a modern, liberal Iraq. . . . That is why they work to foil the U.S. presence. . . . If the U.S. wants to help Iraqis, it must help them the way it helped Germany and Japan, because to help Iraq is really to help 1.3 billion Muslims. Iraq will teach these values to the entire Islamic world. Because Iraq has both Sunnis and Shiites, and it has Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. . . . If it succeeds here it can succeed elsewhere. But to succeed you also need to satisfy people's basic needs: jobs and electricity. If people are hungry, they will be easily recruited by the extremists. If they are well fed and employed, they will be receptive to good ideas. . . . The failure of this experiment in Iraq would mean success for all despots in the Arab and Islamic world. [That is why] this is a challenge that America must accept and take all the way."
Jamaleddine, Khomeini; these are real spiritual leaders here. But if the U.S. does not create a secure environment and stable economy in Iraq, their voices will never get through. If we do, though -- wow. To the rest of the Arab world, I would simply say: Guess who's coming to dinner.
"


There is hope for Iraq.
 

MovingTarget

Diamond Member
Jun 22, 2003
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That is a very brave man to have said that, not to mention a very intelligent one. I just hope that his message catches on over there.

*Claps some more*
 

Double Trouble

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Good points indeed, but the reality is that if you give the people the freedom to choose and decide what they want for their country, you'd quickly have a Shiite government in Iraq. So, how do we allow the people to truly be free to choose what they want, but yet not allow them to make "the wrong" choice?

No matter what constitution you make, if the vast majority of the population wants something, they can simply change the constitution and get it. If you make the constitution unchangeable such that (even a large) majority of the people cannot change it, that constitution does not represent the will of the people and is therefore worthless.
 

etech

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: tagej
Good points indeed, but the reality is that if you give the people the freedom to choose and decide what they want for their country, you'd quickly have a Shiite government in Iraq. So, how do we allow the people to truly be free to choose what they want, but yet not allow them to make "the wrong" choice?

No matter what constitution you make, if the vast majority of the population wants something, they can simply change the constitution and get it. If you make the constitution unchangeable such that (even a large) majority of the people cannot change it, that constitution does not represent the will of the people and is therefore worthless.
How do you know that the people of Iraq would pick the repressive government of sharia?

I think it is very possible that you are hearing the people that are making the most noise but the average Iraqi has seen what has happened in Iran. I don't think they would choose that for themselves.

 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
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Good points indeed, but the reality is that if you give the people the freedom to choose and decide what they want for their country, you'd quickly have a Shiite government in Iraq.
Whats wrong with that? Think anyone cares to do a little explaining on the religous groups of Iraq?
 

etech

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: Tabb
Good points indeed, but the reality is that if you give the people the freedom to choose and decide what they want for their country, you'd quickly have a Shiite government in Iraq.
Whats wrong with that?

Life under sharia is very repressive. There is also the danger that fundamentalists such as the wahabbis or a group like the Taliban could take over.

Look at the history of Iran since 1981 or so if you want more information.

Now if that is truly what the people of Iraq want( I doubt it) than that is what they should get. I don?t think that given a true choice and information and without coercion that they would choose it.
 

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