• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Sharia Warning on Iraqi Kurdistan

The Guardian‘s Comment is Free carries a piece by Houzan Mahmoud on a worrying development in Iraqi Kurdistan:

Around seven months ago, a draft constitution for the Kurdistan region was made available for discussion, suggestions and amendments. Article seven of this proposed constitution states: This constitution stresses the identification of the majority of Kurdish people as Muslims; thus the Islamic sharia law will be considered as one of the major sources for legislation making.

…Along with five others, I launched a campaign to bring together all those who believe in secularism, and who therefore demand the removal of Article seven, to fight this reactionary clause, which would allow the Islamists to use official state law to justify their crimes against the women of Kurdistan.

…The media attention given to our campaign panicked the Islamists, and just few days after our visit to parliament they launched a counter-campaign. They have announced their intention to “campaign to retain the Islamic identity of the Kurdish people”. They have started to propagate the nonsense claim, via their various media outlets, that we want to impose secularism and forcibly deny people any right to express their identity as Muslims.

A year ago I blogged on a report concerning the evangelical Iraqi General (and sometime National Security Advisor) Georges Sada, who claimed that all was well in Kurdistan, and also that “hundreds” of people were converting to Christianity. I noted then that he appeared to be ignoring some disturbing counter-evidence. Christian Zionist Mike Evans was also recently in the area, which he declared to be the “greatest success story in all of Iraq”. The bar, though, is somewhat low…

(Hat tip: World War 4 Report)

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