22 August 2011

Nation-building is tricky stuff...

Many who have seen the Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage of Libyan Government have pointed with concern to the following passage:

Libya is an independent Democratic State wherein the people are the source of authorities. The city of Tripoli shall be the capital of the State. Islam is the Religion of the State and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia). Arabic is its official language while preserving the linguistic and cultural rights of all components of the Libyan society. The State shall guarantee for non-Moslems the freedom of practising religious rights and shall guarantee respect for their systems of personal status.

I would only note that the Constitution of Iraq, adopted in close cooperation with the United States, begins as follows:


Article 1:The Republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is republican, representative, parliamentary, and democratic, and this Constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq. 
Article 2: First: Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation:
A. No law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam
B. No law may be enacted that contradicts the principles of democracy.
C. No law may be enacted that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms stipulated in this Constitution.
Second: This Constitution guarantees the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights to freedom of religious belief and practice of all individuals such as Christians, Yazidis, and Mandean Sabeans.

Nation-building is tricky stuff, isn't it?

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