Just the right bit of religion

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Since the final draft of the new Iraqi constitution was released last Thursday to citizens in Baghdad, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has released a review of its human rights protections, especially those regarding religious freedom. While noting some improvements, USCIRF sees the inclusion of Islam as the state religion and its designation as the “a fundamental source of legislation” as a danger to civil liberties. Especially troubling to the Commission is that the interpretation and implementation of the laws will be determined by the Iraqi high court, which will contain Islamic jurists with no training in western-style civil law legal traditions. The majority Shiite Muslims in Iraq support the final draft of the constitution, while militant factions of the Sunni minority are calling for a boycott of the referendum and threatening participants with violence.

The concerns raised by the Iraqi constitutional draft and court nominations add an interesting element to the somewhat parallel civic conversation surrounding the Supreme Court nominee debacle in the US. As Miers’ evangelical history is simultaneously attacked, right and left by some, and touted as a selling point by others, some Americans may be left wondering exactly when and how the principle of church-state separation gets implemented; then again, some have already made up their mind.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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