Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari announced Oct. 23 that he had prepared a Sharia-based personal-status law and submitted it to the cabinet for approval and referral to the Council of Representatives for passage. Should the law be approved, Iraqi municipalities would be required to apply penalties that violate human rights, such as mutilation and stoning, among others.
The Iraqi religious parties, including al-Fadhila (Islamic Virtue Party), to which the justice minister belongs, welcomed the proposed law, lauding it as an achievement. During his announcement, Shammari claimed that the draft law followed on the request of Iraqi religious scholars and tribal leaders and was the product of consultations with Muslim authorities.
For more than a century now, calls to impose Islamic law in different parts of the Middle East have increasingly spread, with Islamists promoting a religious utopia among their communities, offering its members a paradise on Earth prior to the one that awaits them in the heavens. They openly proclaim, “Sharia is the solution.”
Given the tyranny, economic collapse and social disintegration plaguing most countries in the region, the welcoming attitude toward political Islam and the imposition of Sharia would normally come as no surprise. What is odd today, however, is that the movement’s slogans continue to attract people from different social classes even after the failed governing experiences of political Islam across the region, from North Africa to Afghanistan.