Sunday, March 13, 2005

No Islamic State in Iraq?

It seems that the Kurds won't have one and the Kurds are needed in the government:

The Kurds and the alliance officials said both sides agreed that Iraq would not become an Islamic state, a desire also expressed by the country's most powerful Shiite cleric - Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, said the Kurds would oppose any attempt to turn Iraq into an Islamic state.

``I think the Shiites well understand that implementing an Islamic government ... will bring a lot of problems,'' Barzani told Dubai's Al-Arabiya television. ``We have an alliance with the Shiites. We were both oppressed, and we both struggled against the old regime, but if they insist on having a religious government we will oppose to them.''

An alliance member, Ali al-Dabagh, said there were no plans to turn Iraq into a religious state or a secular one.

``We neither want to establish a religious nor a secular state in Iraq, we want a state that respects the identity of the Iraqi people and the identities of others'' al-Dabagh said.

What does it mean, though, to neither want to establish a religious nor a secular state in Iraq? One or the other will be established, I would think. I'm rooting for the secular solution because it allows the religious people to live a religious life whereas the reverse would not allow the secular people to live a secular life.

As an aside, I'm slightly annoyed by the term "secular" in this context. To want a secular state doesn't mean that one is an atheist. I want all states to be secular and I'm a goddess! "Secular" means something more here than purely earthly matters; it means a state which is inclusive of people with various faiths and sensitive to human rights.