The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear Dan and List, The reason why you didn’t receive any reply from the CPA or find anything substantive about the Preparatory Constitutional Committee is because its formation was rejected by most Iraqis, especially the Shi’i religious establishment. The IGC had appointed 25 members to the committee, whose duty was to select and appoint 125 persons to a committee to draft a new constitution. Ayatolla Ali Sistani, the highest Shi’i religious authority, rejected this and issued a Fatwa (religious edict)stating that the constitution should be drafted by an elected committee not an appointed one, because only then the will of the Iraqis could be expressed. The streets of Iraq were filled with banners and posters that carried this Fatwa, in a declaration of the rejection by the people of the appointment of members to the Committee. The IGC sent many delegations and groups to meet Ayatollah Sistani to try to convince him to change his mind, but all failed. Mr. Fouad Massoum himself also visited Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf and he too failed in his attempts. Mr. Muhammad Bahrul-Ulum, member of the IGC, said in an interview with the Iran based Al-A’alm satellite channel that the only person who objected to appointing the members of the drafting committee was Ayatollah Sistani!! Thus, and after a month of futile attempts, the Preparatory Committee and IGC were forced to give in and declare that the Drafting Committee will be elected and not appointed as originally planned. For that reason, a census will be carried out in preparation for electing the Drafting committee; a process that could take up to one year. The Preparatory Committee is expected to submit a report on the results of its work and the date of elections by the end of this month. Iraqis believe that the Fatwa of Ayatollah Sistani will give the new constitution more legitimacy, because it will not be imposed by the occupation forces. Thus, the Fatwa is seen as having thwarted the American scheme to have a constitution tailored to suit US interests and confirm its hegemony on Iraq and the area. HZ __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software http://sitebuilder.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk