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Monday, August 29, 2005

Sistani rejects Iraqi Constitution

From Mohammed at Iraq The Model we hear that al-Sistani is rejecting the proposed Iraqi Constitution because of fears it will lead to future problems between the Shiite and Sunni provinces:
Today the differences reached the peak when Sistani dropped a bomb by rejecting federalism and thus rejecting the constitution of the Kurdish-Sheat alliance putting the current ruling parties in a difficult position.

Sistani in his statement said "The Sunnis are your family. Stay by their side this time so that they stay by your side in the coming times…"
al-Sistani is Shia, not Sunni.

The two areas of division are Constitutional support for federalism and the banning of Saddam's Ba'ath Party. If Iraq federates, most oil-bearing areas will lie within the southern Iraq Shiite provinces or within the northern Kurdish areas, leaving the central Sunni section bereft of oil revenues in the future. And if the Ba'ath Party is proscribed, many Sunni citizens will be unable to participate in Iraqi politics.

As Mohammed points out, now is the time Iraqi politicians must decide how much influence prominent religious leaders like al-Sistani have over the Iraqi Government. Will they renegotiate the Constitution or not?

(I apologise if my usage of Shia and Shiite is the wrong way around)

UPDATE: More coverage from the Times.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 8/29/2005 11:47:00 pm


Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

Just a minor correction - the Kurds are Sunni, not Shi'a. They were harshly treated under Saddam because they spoke Kurdish (an Iranian language) rather than Arabic.

8/30/2005 12:58:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Thats what I thought as well, but I checked a while ago and found various sites saying they were mostly Shia. However Wikipedia says they are mostly (65%) Sunni. Confusing...


I've removed the reference to which variant of Islam Kurds follow.

8/30/2005 01:06:00 am  

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