Don't Forget Iraq (3)
I normally hesitate to take up stories about oppression of women, or child abuse, in Islamic countries, in case they are manufactured for propaganda purposes. But sometimes they are true. I know that Hussein al Alak, whose comment I am republishing here, is a decent and patriotic Iraqi as opposed to the imperialists' war and occupation of his country as he is to the reactionary regime they have left behind.
At the first conference of the Stop the War Coalition, when I wanted to second a motion calling for support to secular and democratic forces in Iraq, I was told there would not be time. However time was found for several speakers to oppose the motion, among whom I remember Candice Unwin of the Socialist Workers Party, who beside the usual accusation that we were "telling Iraqis what to do", evoked the story of an Iraqi child attacked by British soldiers, to declare emotionally that she was not going to ask whether that child was secular or not.
The motion was lost, though about a third of delegates supported it, evidently unimpressed by the SWP demagogy or weighted debate.
Had I been able to speak I was going to explain that far from detracting from solidarity with the people of Iraq, we wanted to warn that before they withdrew from Iraq, the imperialists would rely on reactionaries and corrupt leaders to foster a backward regime and promote sectarian conflict in Iraq, so as to divide and rule. We should be supporting secular forces, trade unions, women's movements and students, to counteract this.
Tragically, events since then have more than bore this out. As for Stop the War and the SWP, they may not have wanted to tell Iraqis what to do, but they don't seem to have listened to them either. Even when there were signs of the "Arab Spring" spreading to Iraq, with people starting to regain their confidence and challnge the government, they did not get the attention they should.
Anyway, here is Hussein al Alak:
Iraqi government's paedophile plan for children
I am writing in disgust at the total disregard to the rights of women and girls in Iraq, whose lives are to be further blighted by the proposal of the Ja'afari Personal Status Law.
The proposed law, which is still to be voted on by Iraq's parliament, will legalise paedophilia, by allowing the marriage of 9 year old'girls, will prevent women from leaving their homes without their husbands permission, and will also permit a husband the right of sexual gratification at his whim, in effect legalising rape.
The Ja'afari Status Law, if introduced, will also prevent a Muslim from marrying a non Muslim, which will only add further tension, to Iraq's already fractured social fabric, which has been pushed to its limits, since the USA and UK introduced democracy to Iraq.
What has horrified both myself and numerous others, is the silence which has come from Britain's Parliament, who after all were the first to decry the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussain, along with claiming that their invasion was to help champion the cause of women's rights in Iraq.
It is grotesque, that the UK is failing to utilise it's influence over the Iraqi Government, into reversing its plan to create the worlds first pervert state, which as most people are fully aware, was most generously funded by the US/UK tax payer.
At the same time, the UK also need to have some clarity and inform us the electorate, what Britain's political, military and diplomatic positions with the Iraqi Government and it's British based institutions will be, should the US/UK backed Iraqi Government, legalise both primary school aged brides and rape.
And here is another Iraqi who is always worth listening to, the indefatigable Haifa Zangana, on the same subject:
I would not bother asking Candice Unwin about this, as she seems to have had enough trouble holding the lid down on rape allegations in the SWP.