Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Another Curfew

With the new session of the National Assembly set to convene tomorrow, a curfew has been set for Baghdad. Its well-timed, considering the dozens of tortured bodies that are now unconvered daily. I expect that events will proceed smoothly. We'll be working, though our Iraq staff will stay at home.

Recently, I haven't been following Iraqi politics too closely, so I don't know if the new government will be the coalition of national unity that the US wanted or the Shi'te majority that the votes may allow. It seems that whatever the makeup, there will be a Islamist flavor to the new government. For expats who can leave, the most pertinent concern is whether or not alcohol will be banned. Its no longer available at the airport, though it's easily obtainable elsewhere. For Iraqis who can't leave, a major worry is the personal status law. This is written in the constitution and permits religious groups to enact their own laws governing individual behavior.

Whatever laws the new Iraqi government enacts, its comforting that there are plenty of countries where religion influences national policy in more peculiar ways. Right now in Thailand, Prime Minister Thaksin is using wands and black magic to quell his opposition. In Sri Lanka, the national time is going to be changed on the advice of Buddhist astronomers.


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