Feldman Iraq Will Be Islamic Republic

Feldman: Iraq will be an Islamic Republic at Odds with the West

Noah Feldman, an independent consultant to the Coalition Provisional Authority and to President Bush has [written a report]* to the White House casting severe doubts on the likelihood that Iraq will emerge as a Western-style democarcy with separation of religion and state and a foreign policy stance friendly to the West. Al-Zaman’s London office appears to have seen a copy of the report, and summarizes it today. Feldman, an NYU professor of law, says that after observing the situation there he is convinced that the Iraqi constitution will enshrine Islam as the religion of state and Islamic law as the basis for national law, that the new regime will refuse to recognize Israel, and that it is likely to be antagonistic to the West. Feldman said that the outcome is likely to contradict all the prognostications made before the war, that it would establish a pluralistic, secular democracy. Feldman, a Democrat, was appointed to consult on constitutional issues because he also has a degree in Islamic Law from [Harvard]. But his report, if al-Zaman summarizes correctly, has ended up demolishing the rhetoric of the neoconservatives who hyped the war last spring and who predicted that a new democratic Iraq would lead a wave of democratization in the region.

(*It now appears [10/31/03] that he did not in fact write a report to this effect, though oral remarks of his with the same purport appeared in a Telegraph interview.)

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