George W. Bush said of Iraq and Afghanistan,, “I’d like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people…”
The 2004 Constitution of Afghanistan [pdf], drafted and passed under the rule of George W. Bush in that country, makes Islam the religion of state and forbids any law that contravenes the sharia or Muslim religious law (the official translations on the Web misleadingly render ahkam or religious laws with the word “provisions,” which hides the real intent of the constitution, so I have translated those passages more literally):
“Article One Ch. 1. Art. 1: Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.
Article Two Ch. 1, Art. 2: The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam.
Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.
Ch. 1, Art. 3
In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and laws [ahkam] of the sacred religion of Islam.
“The Afghan Constitution and Islamic Sharia law both support polygamy, allowing men to take up to four wives. Certain conditions apply to polygamous marriages, such as the equal treatment of all wives, but these are not always observed.”
The constitution of Iraq, adopted in 2005 under the rule of George W. Bush over Iraq, says:
First: Islam is the official religion of the State and is the primary basis for legislation:
A. No legislation may be enacted that contradicts the established laws 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.
Polygamy is legal in Iraq with a judge’s permission, and Iraqi legislators have been considering making it easier for men to take more than one wife in order to have the country’s vast number of war widows supported.
But the following recent statements by Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil provoked the CNN headline, “Libyan leader’s embrace of Sharia raises eyebrows:”
“As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Sharia as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Sharia is ineffective legally.” Jalil also urged an end to restrictions on taking more than one wife, and wanted to see Islamic banking principles instead of Western-style interest.
The Western press seems unaware that when Muammar Qaddafi came to power in 1969 he pledged to implement Islamic law or sharia and to abolish Italian and British colonial-era laws and regulations. He forbade alcohol, e.g. When in 1977 he declared Libya to be a “masses-ocracy” (Jamahiriya), he proclaimed that the holy Qur’an was the source of law or sharia for Libya.
So far, Jalil has said nothing that was not said repeatedly by his predecessor, Qaddafi. He has said nothing that is not in the constitutions and/or legal practice of Bush’s Afghanistan and Iraq. But there is no hand-wringing about those two “liberated” countries and Islamic law or sharia. I guess if secular, communist Afghanistan was made fundamentalist by Reagan and Bush, or if the relatively secular Baath Party of Iraq was overthrown by W. in favor of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Islamic Call Party and the Bloc of Ayatollah Sadr II, that is unobjectionable and not even reported on. But if there’s a Democratic president in the White House, all of a sudden it is a scandal if Muslims practice Muslim law.