Disappointing Draft of Afghanistan's New Constitution



After all the sacrifices Afghan people gave to fight Taliban and Islamism, they would deserve a real secular constitution and not anything like the following draft:




This is an insult to all lives lost in fighting Taliban in the days of amputations and stonings and other Islamist judgments of the Taleban courts.


The shameful first chapter of this constitution sets Islam as the supreme law of the land. The second chapter is even worse than the first one, where in article 35 it says program and charter of political parties should not be contrary to Islam. So from the start, freedom of parties is curtailed by the Islamic law.


What is the lesson for us Iranians to learn? We should take the work on future constitution very seriously from now, before Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is gone, so that we do not end up to get back Islamism under a new tag. This is where the Iranian intellectuals can help our people a lot, by clarifying the issues, especially as related to the separation of state and religion.  The following sources and discussions are a step in that direction:




It seems like some US and UK advisers are now believing the propaganda of IRI and other Islamists, who try to show Afghan and Iranian people as Islamist. 


It is ironic that the way the Islamists try inside those countries to get the people to follow them, is by telling people that the West wants them in charge, although at the same time they throw death to America slogans against the West to tell people that they can even talk tough to the West.  Islamists use both tactics to get the people to fear them.  Of course this is along with terrorizing the people and using guns to kill and suppress the people. 


As anybody knows the Islamists in Iran bA zoore sarnizeh hokomat mikonand (they rule by the sword), and the days that they ruled by people's support has long passed. Today is not 1979.  Those advisers to US and UK better come to grips with the new reality of the Middle East.


The real force for secularism in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East are the same people who fought for democracy and secularism for over 100 years in those countries, when the West supported the most backward forces.  I am glad that part of the Western thinkers now see the error and are supporting secularism, but please do not think they are the ones doing a favor or "forcing" secularism. 


The only thing forced in Afghanistan was Islamism pushed by Saudis, and supported by the US, which ended up in Taleban. A grave error thinking Islamism would block the Soviets.  The same way the Westsupported Khomeini rather than the secular forces of Iran, in 1979,  because of fearing communism.  Let's not make the same mistake again.


My previous article on MelliMazhabis pretty much sums up the reality of the situation of Islamism in Iran:




Also keeping Islamic clergy out of all three branches of the state, means the one collecting khoms va zakAt (Islamic taxes), should not be allowed to hold a state office, which is a conflict of interest as I noted before:




In other words anyone associated with the Islamic hierarchy must resign from any role in the religious organization, before running for any office of judicial branch or legislature or executive branch of state and this should be noted in the constitution.


Especially in post-IRI or post-Taliban Middle East, Islamists will have the least chance to succeed in the executive branch,  but they will try to take control of judicial branch, as they did during the Shah's time in Iran, and the constitution should have good provisions to stop them. These are not hypothetical issues. They are closer than we may think.


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
Nov 4, 2003




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