Shiite clerics call for Islam to play central role in new Iraq constitution Bernard Hibbitts at 9:36 AM ET
[JURIST] Top Shiite clerics in Iraq have called for Islam to be the sole source of legislation for the county's new constitution, set to be drafted by the members of the country's Transitional National Assembly chosen in the recent elections. The call is said to be supported by Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [official website; English version] and hearkens back to a dispute during the last stages of dtafting the interim Iraqi constitution; the Transitional Administrative Law ultimately said only that Islam was "a source" of law, although it accepted that nothing that "contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam" would be legally acceptable. According to Article 7A:
Islam is the official religion of the State and is to be considered a source of legislation. No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam, the principles of democracy, or the rights cited in Chapter Two of this Law may be enacted during the transitional period. This Law respects the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice.
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