Sistani Raises Objections To Latest

Sistani Raises Objections to Latest Coalition Plan

According to al-Hayat, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and a member of the Interim Governing Council, met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani on Tuesday, and then held a news conference in Najaf on Wednesday. He revealed that Sistani has substantial reservations about the plan worked out by Paul Bremer and the IGC for moving to some form of elected transitional government. Sistani asked that its provisions be reviewed. Al-Hakim warned of “real difficulties if the reservations are not taken into account.”

Apparently Sistani had earlier not been given the full details of the transition plan, and when he saw the Arabic texts of them, he hit the roof. Al-Hakim said that Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sa`id al-Hakim, Sistani’s colleague in Najaf, had the same reservations. “The agreement gives no role to the Iraqi people. It must therefore be revisited.”

Sistani is complaining that the caucus elections envisaged by the US will not be democratic. He also complained that there is no guarantee that the Basic Law that will substitute for a constitution until one is hammered out will contain a clause that no legislation can be passed that is contrary to Islamic law. (Such a clause is an Islamist Trojan Horse, since once it is enacted, Sistani would get to decide when to invoke it.) The NYT says he complained in general about the lack of any specified role for Islam in the proposed arrangements. Al-Hakim reported Sistani saying, that “there is no emphasis on the role of Islam and the identity of the Muslim people. There should have been a stipulation which prevents legislating anything that contradicts Islam in the new Iraq.”

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