How Iraq just Legalized Discrimination against Minorities

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

How Iraq just legalized discrimination of minorities

Amid all the suffering they are already subject to, the minorities in Iraq now have to deal with a National Identity Card Law that systematizes infringement on their rights.

This law, which parliament passed in late October, came after the numbers of Iraqi minorities dwindled, following the massacres and organized attacks that have caused the displacement of the vast majority of them.

According to statistical projections, Iraq will be a minorities-free country in the near future, which brings to mind the displacement of the Jewish minority in Iraq in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Iraqi legislator was supposed to take this fact into account, as it undermines Iraq’s political system and promulgates a law that promotes the presence of minorities in Iraq and protects them from the dominance and political encroachment by the majority (Muslims).

However, the opposite happened.

Indeed, the National Identity Card Law originally was supposed to facilitate administrative formalities for Iraqi citizens, as it confers to these citizens one identity instead of several identities to complete the required formalities with governmental institutions.

However, this law tackles details that are not related to the main objective and has turned into a form of discrimination against non-Muslim minorities.

Article 26 of this law includes two provisions that set the foundation for a systematic discrimination against minorities, which may end their presence in the country:

  • A non-Muslim may switch his religion according to the law.
  • A minor is registered as Muslim following a conversion of any of the parents to Islam.

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