Feldman Denies Writing Report
Informed Comment received an email from Professor Noah Feldman saying that he had not, as al-Zaman alleged, written a report for the CPA on the likely form of the Iraqi constitution. It appears that al-Zaman was summarizing an article in the Daily Telegraph, and mistook a few oral comments for a position paper.
The article said,
“the new, democratic Iraq appears bound to be an Islamic state – with an official role for Islam, and Islamic law enshrined in its constitution. That prospect is triggering alarm and opposition from the White House and the Pentagon, Noah Feldman, a leading American expert in Islamic law, said. “The end constitutional product is very likely to make many people in the US government unhappy. It’s not going to look the way people imagined it looking,” said Dr Feldman. “Any democratically elected Iraqi government is unlikely to be secular, and unlikely to be pro-Israel. And frankly, moderately unlikely to be pro-American”.
Professor Feldman also points out that his Near East degree is from Harvard, not Princeton. He adds by email, “Although I did advise the CPA, and do think that we are headed for a state in which Islam plays a constitutional role…”
Informed Comment regrets the imprecisions in the earlier report.