The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Another Bush prop collapses

Just yesterday I wrote a post about a former Bush ally who now sees the war as a disaster. Today there's another one.

Safia Taleb al-Suhail was the Iraqi woman Bush showed off at his February State of the Union address. She was able to make it all look so worthwhile as she embraced the mother of a fallen American soldier amid thunderous applause. A Republican strategist's wet dream.

Weeellllll, she's feeling a little less optimistic these days:

"Human rights should not be linked to Islamic Sharia law at all. It should be listed separately in the constitution," said Safia Souhail, Iraq's ambassador to Egypt.

The prominent women's rights campaigner denounced wording that grants each religious sect the right to run its own family courts -- apparently doing away with previous civil codes -- as an open door to further Islamicise the legal system.

Although in practice, many Iraqis end up having recourse to religious authorities or informal tribal law, the idea of a united civil code is central to the modern state, Souhail said.

"This will lead to creating religious courts. But we should be giving priority to the law," she said.

"When we came back from exile, we thought we were going to improve rights and the position of women. But look what has happened -- we have lost all the gains we made over the last 30 years. It's a big disappointment."