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 Islam Likely Main Basis for Iraqi Law

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CAIRO, Egypt - The framers of Iraq's constitution appear likely to enshrine Islam as the main basis of law in the country — a stronger role than the United States had hoped for and one some Iraqis fear will mean a more fundamentalist regime.
Arab constitutions vary widely over the role of Islamic law, ranging from Lebanon, where the word "Islam" never appears, to Saudi Arabia, which says the Quran itself is its constitution.

Culture weighs far more heavily than the constitution and law, particularly when it comes to women. In Gulf nations — where the constitutions spell out a slightly lesser role for Islamic law, or Sharia, than in Egypt — women are more segregated and wear more conservative veils covering the entire face.

Kuwait, for example, bans alcohol and only gave women the right to vote this year, in contrast to Egypt, where beer, wine and liquor are sold openly and women have been voting since the early 20th century.


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