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A dialoge between two secular Iraqis

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Below is a thread of correspondances between two iraqis, Mud and Has. I find it of help to share with baghdadee visitors

Some background for those who are not familiar with iraqi terms

 

Ahwal Shakhsia laws: the civil laws forced by Qasim in 50tees that is considered by some secular groups as a progressive laws that need to be kept

 

Nushouze: A state of wife that a hasband can force on here for the whole life to be not a married and not devorced. So hanging for her life with no right to marry other at a time she is no longer his wife.

 

 

 

 

 

Subject: The forceful mentality

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 11:02:23 -0800

 

 

 

It is so unfortunate that the Iraqis are still thinking in the same backward tyrannical mentality of "you do it my way or no way". This whole fiasco of nominating Aljaafari is a true demonstration on that. Over 50% of the parliament members and parties are against him, and that was even before the elections, and rather than trying to achieve national consensus the UIA goes ahead and nominates AlJaafari again. Although he won but he won with a margin of ONE vote. That is to say that AlJaafari's own vote got him the nomination. Forcing the issue like the Sadrists are doing will plunge the country into more open civil war and for what? just to make sure they do not say OK we will listen to the people? If Iraqis do not learn to use constructive dialogue and constructive criticism and admit to making mistakes this country will go no where, instead another Saddam will appear and we are back a full circle.

-Mud

=========================================

 

Azizi

 

I don't think the issue in current crises is the person. Democracy assure those who don't like Jaafree to drop him in the perliment voting.the Iraqi political system is getting so matured to be governed by the old/current Arab third world mentality. It is the agenda and the program. Over the last three weeks, dispite the great problems, the Iraqi politicians work day and night to get them self agree on a unified program. starting from the security council formation, to the government program. Just today they had finished the most critical issue of the security file responsibility. And they will start on the hot issue of the PM nomination.

 

I heard some family members in Iraq getting so upset of the delay, I told that it is better to come up with concrete strong solution than being fast unmatured one. The last month huge incidents proved one thing.. that Iraq is the most stable country in ME. In stable egypt, a kopt ladey convertion to Islam was enough to ignite a civil possible war. in Iraq, the bombing of the Mehdi Absence , the holiest place for Shia after mecca and medina, was suppressed so fast.

 

 

 

I know you are saying that I am still same crazy optimist!

 

-Has

-============================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 15:49:39 -0800

 

 

 

 

Yes you are still the optimist. Unfortunately this delay in the political process is causing so much violence and wasted lives, the problem is you have immature population that needs a leader to tell them what to do. The system is not in place yet to have the country run without political leadership. And this bickering on the PM post is so much focused on, nothing else is being done. The PM name should have been presented to parliament for a confidence vote but because it was obvious that he was not going to pass the whole process is being delayed. As for stability, I am not sure I agree with you, Iraq is in such a volatile state that it can be triggered with any minor incident.

 

-mud

========================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

 

I might not be the only optimist though

 

have a look to some iraqi blogger's

 

 

 

http://baghdadee.ipbhost.com/index.php?sho...st=0entry6023

-Has

=================================================

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 12:53:49 -0700

 

 

I truly wish you are all correct.

 

My main gripe here is I am considered very liberal in the Iraqi political game, I do not care who will govern whether it is red, green, blue or black. I voted and have been voting for whoever goes against the religious right here in the US, unfortunately the religious right in Iraq is taking hold. All I care about is personal freedom is maintained and not suppressed, the main personal freedom is women's rights and with the current SCIRI/Sadr coalition this is the first thing to be attacked and taken out of circulation. This coalition has precedence in stripping women out of their rights that they acquired over the past 80 years since the formation of the Iraqi government.

 

-Mud

==========================================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

Azizi

 

I don't call my self liberal,as I call my self redical!..I agree with all of your concerns.

 

I am not feeling well cuaghting cold that speard these days, so I have luxuary of relaxing at home flipping some Tv channels "A way how optimist looks to a sever flue !"..

 

i was watching Iraqia Tv program about the legal advise under current Iraq laws "same Sadam/Qasim ahwal Shakhsia" , there was a question about the rule of wife Nishouze.. what a horrible law that I prefere converting from islam than letting my duaghter be in such position. I will not ellaborate on details of this law , but what draw my attention is that during the constitution writting , the civil right /women right organizations were defending the law of ahwal shakhsia so hard as if it is the heaven that iraqis should not allow lossing it's blessings.

 

You might argue that they were warning from the worse, not defending the law itself. It might be a convincing answer, but if that is the case then why they didn't ask for the best rather than demanding the bad to be kept? they were crying the Ahwalshakhsia as if we has lost very progressive suit of laws. I think I know why. They don't have better alternative that comply with Islamic Shria! So their call was let us keep the BEST bad one.

 

When i look to the consitution with it's clause that let people to chose between different options of civil right laws " State common or religious". it jump to my mind the revolutionary idea behind this. If we keep one version, "the PROGRESSIVE Ahwal shakhsia !" then we to end up with prefabrished Islamic sharia law that can't move byound the Islamic laws but inr best scenario to better reinterpert them. Now we have two completely different legal options. Those who want religous rules govern their lifes, go Sharia way, those who want to enjoy the civilized era , like myself, can print and legitise their laws away from the control of the religous authorities..

 

what a genious solution. ! One unified law will never fly byound the religous control. Just have a look to any "progressive" Islamic civil laws in and progressive Islamic country from Syria to Tunisia..

 

With such constitutional right you can move to any other belive/nonbelive with state has no control. It is your full right to chose.

 

Why I am getting into such long story? May be cos I have nothing else to do! But wanted to say that Alhakim/jaafree/sader/Aldulaimee/Alawee/talabani .etc, can come up with very reasonable solution to a very complicated issues when they have the chance to sit and think about it freely. specially when every one has same right of say. As the case in Iraq today.

 

You need to remembr that this contitution was voted for by 80% of elligable voters . That means it already got the populus momentum and no one has the right to twist

 

 

 

Cheers my optimism!!

 

 

 

-Has

==================================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 16:39:47 -0700

 

 

 

 

 

This is the exact law that I was talking about, and it was introduced by Qassim, Saddam and his cronies had nothing to do with it, so lets keep his name out. This law was and still is one of the most progressive laws in the middle east, and we have to save it as is at this time. If in your opinion that the Sharia is a much better law, we will have to stop the discussion since we will not reach an agreement. I believe in separation between religion and state. Religion is a personal issue and should not be forced on everyone, therefore secular laws should be in effect, unless a person feels that his/her cleric is a better way to go, and again that is personal.

 

Wish you get well soon, I was bed bound last week with the flu and I am just recovering this week.

 

mud

 

=========================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

Mud

 

Looks to me that you didn't read my reply . Please read it again..

 

My point is on contrary. I think That Ahwal shakhsia is failing short to garantee the basic rights of women.

 

As for Shria, I made my self clear that I prefer to convert than letting my duaghter be opperessed by such midevil laws!

 

Why you thought of mine the other way? I am wondering , may be my flue blocked me from expressing my self the way I wanted.. Or may be you are used to people critisizing Qasim's laws because they are PROGRESSIVE. I do critisis them but because they are not!

 

 

 

-Has

 

============================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 19:18:35 -0700

 

 

 

 

I actually read your reply and I understand what you are saying. I strongly believe in the separation of religion and the laws of the state. The reason I consider the current Ahwal Alshakhsia law to be progressive is because I remember it very well when it was introduced, I remember discussions among my family members about it, although my family was very anti-Qassim they agreed at that time that it was better than the prior law. By the way one of the people who were discussing it was my grandfather who in 1935 was one of 5 committee members who put together the civil law of Iraq which was at that time one of the most advanced in the region. BTW, since then the later governments made only slight modest changes to that law. Bottom line the discussions that took place at that time were between Supreme Court judges and judges so it was not Joe Blow type discussions.

 

Going back to Sharia is not considered progressive since the Sharia had so many non arab/muslim customs/habits/rules that even the muslims of 1500 years ago consider backward, and we agreed that lots of the bad laws that the muslims are accused of having were actually introduced over the years.

 

I am do not agree with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson whether they are in the US or in Iraq.

 

-mud

===============================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

As you had read my comment, would you please brief it to me.

 

I don't know about your personal experiences with this law, but for me any argument based on relative prefrence is not to my expectation.Either base on full basic right or not. I don't know how a law is a progressive while it garantee male to apply Nushuz on female. Do you know what is sharia Nushouze. Those who base their judgment of progressive on being MOST ADVANCED , are no diffent than stubid Islamist who claim sharia progressiveness based on being better that Jahiliain garanteeing inheritance for women ..

 

If you want to be progressive then you should be so and base your reference on what is running in the civilized countries not the retarted ones!

 

 

 

Cheers

 

-Has

=========================================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 11:17:21 -0700

 

 

 

So lets look at it from two perspectives,

 

Perspective 1: Women in Iraq from the full walks of life and full spectrum, Arab/non-Arab, Muslim/Christian, Sunni/Shiite, all the women who organized the rallies the past three years were the highly educated and the politically involved in the process, and are all against any changes to this law, and by the way they are the main people effected by this change. This is a very broad spectrum and is very representative of the mosaic cultural/social structure of the Iraqi society.

 

Perspective 2: Men are telling these women that the Sharia is much better for them than this law, that the Sharia addresses their concerns.

 

Am I correct to understand that we (men) are telling women that we know their best more than they do? If we are holding women to high standard then we should at least respect their opinion.

 

This is being repeated every where and with every religion, the religious right in the US telling women that they know what is best for them. The Conservative Jews in Israel are telling women what is better for them, and the muslim clerics are doing exactly the same. As for the list of names in your original email, it seems I feel a lot more comfortable with a Allawi/Talabani solution than with a solution proposed by religious parties Sunni or Shiite.

 

Secular secular all the way.

 

-Mud

=================================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

I am still confused .. Why don't you be kind with my flue state and make it easier :-)

 

Why do you sound like you thought that my call is for Sharia ? at a time i am calling for disbanding it.

 

The two of your prospectives are what I am rejecting . What about the third prospective that i am talking about.

 

I am repeating it here

 

My objection to the Ahwal laws is that it is not progressive and it is just an enhanced version of the Sharia laws. It might be an advanced move at its times as was Sharia at it's times , and possibly a revolutionary one by collecting the best of the Sharia in the Shia and hanafia legistlations, but it is not as such today.

 

We need to move one step further by instituting modren laws that are based on women basic civil rights and not on Sharia midevil one...

 

I fully respect your personal attachments to the founders of this law , which I agree as most advanced in the region. By the way as a "Saied" I should also have same with Sharia , which some of my grandfathers :-) had for humanity ! This is not a show off race but just came to my mind :-)

 

Please comment on my above statement and don't mix it with those who are calling for Sharia, as my objection to Ahwal is that it is based on BEST of Sharia laws..

 

Please make my life easier by kindly brief what I am

 

 

Cheers

 

-Has

==============================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2006 14:29:23 -0700

 

 

 

 

I got your idea now. I do not think we were that far apart, somehow I misread your original message. I still think it is too early to start making changes to laws for a simple reason. The current parliament members were not selected based on their individual campaign agendas. People voted along sectarian and ethnic lines, I do believe this is a start and a good one but eventually I would like to see people vote to a panel based on its merits, unfortunately some panels never had the chance to come to light like Laith Kubba's which I heard after the elections that he had a good running agenda. It is a learning process and a tough one, hopefully the Iraqis will need probably two more election rounds to start making good sense of what is going on. That is the reason it is better to postpone all such significant decisions till that time.

 

-Mud

 

PS. My grandfather was a Saied as well. :-)

===========================================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

Finally !Thanks god :-)

 

Let me explain my optimistic view.. Today , as you mentioned there is no way to deploy any radical views that bring modern civilized civil rights as the working one that he best one can do is what qassim did in Ahwal. The proplem with this model is that it has to comply with sharia BEST interpretations. That is what the god fathers of the modern Iraq did. Nevertheless they did get " Balah Albasra or aanab el Sham" . Lahawal , though it is step forward , was full of brutal uncivilized legistations "As the case with Nushouz", at same time most people who are religous are not complying with it. I know so many female relatives and friends who went Sharia way at a time the alhawal laws garantee them better chances. So I think having two versions to chose freely among by people is a revolutionary idea. By accepting such model by religous main shia figures and by people is to send a great message that current religous scholars aret so moderate. This can never be happen even in secular systems like Baathist or Turkey or Tunisia, not mentioning the retarded Sudi or Iran.

 

From one side it will assure the no control of the Sharia on the state version one, as it is intended to comply with those who don't believe in sharia laws. Second it will put more pressure on those who support the sharia laws to find out best of Sharia , when they will, for sure, see more people moving to the other one which garantee better rights for their dughters in a country where a significant percentage of population are educated one..

 

What I didn't undersatnd is why most civil right orgatizations in Iraq didn't see this side. I convinced myself that they are under the seige of assumming that any thing other than Ahawl is not a progressive call. Some thing simillar to your intial impression :-)

 

 

 

well come cousin , so atleast you have the previlage of participating both Shia and ahwal laws.. May that is why you hate any other :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers

-HAs

============================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:06:06 -0700

 

 

 

I can not speak for why most civil organizations are against any change, but I can tell you why I am against any change at this time (and let me emphasize on the words "THIS TIME"). With the current political composition, and the dominance of the religious parties in the parliament (Sunni or Shiite) any change will move the law more towards Sharia, I might be wrong in that but I do not want to take any chances at this point. As I mentioned in my previous email, the Iraqis have to go thru one or two more "cycles" of voting to start reading what the candidates agendas first before voting. right now the religious parties are getting most of the votes not because of their agendas but because people feel safe in voting for them, besides the current violence is turning people more towards religion. Without stability it is not wise to make any radical changes, and in order to make a radical change you will need committees that are not dominated by conservatives. Look at what is happening here in the US with the Supreme Court nominations, the conservatives are trying to get a conservative Judges majority which will effect our lives for years to come.

 

Our best hope at this time is an Allawi/Kurds alliance, this is the only moderate alliance in parliament at this time.

 

mud

========================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

 

That is a concern that I fully respect.. It is not only regarding this issue but it is a broad concern that might touch all current issues too

 

However, as optimist :-), I have my own reasons to have my reactions different than what you are calling for, THE POSTPONE of any radical change..

 

 

 

I think what is happening in Iraq today is a rare unique apportunity that our friend Bush had ofered to Iraq , ME and islamic world. Such apportunity might not be possible again in the near future. Based on political agenda , some might thought this as Shia or Kurds apportunity. I think It Iraq and Iraqis. What the American had done " planned or unplanned" is the creation of new chiotic environment where any thing is possible. Such chiotic system is usually go two ways, either full break or the most solid system of "Chiotic Equilibrium". I might need to talk more aboutthe later some other time.

 

If we don't grape this apportunity, we will never get it later under stable systems. Today such revolutionary constitutional right of people to shop/choose among different Sate/religouse civil laws is a great move forward. let us not miss it just because we are feering future. It is better to clearly specify it now , otherwise leaving it hunging, as the case with one Ahawal laws full with backword legistlations, might end us in the hands of Talaban like or Alsader governemnt Sharia modifications to Ahwal.

 

I think the real issue by those who call to pospond the radical constitution is that they want to keep the old system and not really affriad of the unstablity bad impact. Just have a look to the Iraqi constitution, it is one of the BEST in the region as far as garanteeing the civil rights,it is not the most progressive one that we might dream of though .. So why don't these civil right activist look to it from this BEST prospective as they do with BEST Ahwal laws?

 

Alqaeda and Sunni Sholar association refused it, so why ? if it is to please the religous authorities. I understand the sunni Scholar association objection of Islamic Sharia as not be considered as THE only source, but why secular Baathist made this as their reason to object it too.?

 

For me their opjections are either politically motivated or a reflection of deep understanding that religous arena can never produce a forward step. Something I don't agree with

 

 

 

Cheers

_Has

================================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 12:15:38 -0700

 

 

 

 

The AMS and Baathis have a converging agenda. They want this whole process to fail to say that we used to have is better one. These attempts are destined for failure. Lots of these political entities are pandering for votes by putting on the religious garb, it might fool some but not all. It is because of entities like AMS, veiled Baathis and Alsadr we have to be cautious in making such a change. I fully agree with you that Iraqis have THE opportunity to build a modern society now or never.

 

 

-Mud

=====================

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

 

 

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/details.asp?s...7237&issue=9994

 

 

 

Have a look.. Seems to me that there are a lot to review within Islamic Sharia laws by Muslims..

 

-Has

=======================================================

 

Subject: RE: The forceful mentality

Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 20:22:57 -0700

 

 

 

 

Wow this is new. I did not expect to live to hear or see this advocated by a muslim cleric.

 

I guess Muslims are moving into the 20th century after all. I am not sure how long it is going to take them to move into the 21st century.

 

 

-Mud

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