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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 October 2005, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Iraq constitution: Your views
An Iraqi looks at a copy of the new constitution
Iraqi election officials have said the formal result of the country's vote on a new constitution will be delayed following fraud allegations.

Some Sunni Arab politicians say that corrupt practices were allowed to boost the Yes vote, however United Nations monitors said most people had been able to vote.

Sunni leaders oppose the constitution, fearing current proposals may lead the country to split into a Kurdish north and Shia south, depriving Sunni Arabs access to the country's oil resources.

What are your views on the Iraq constitution? Are you an Iraqi who voted? Send us your comments and experiences.

This debate is now closed. Please read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views received:

From BBCArabic.com: The constitution contains a number of excellent articles that provide for social justice and freedoms and prevent extremism, whether liberal or Islamic. The constitution also established the principle of the separation of powers, press freedom, and the freedom of thought. Those who rejected the document, small in numbers as the are, refuse to accept the birth of a democratic state based on law. Quite simply, they offer no alternative except saying no.
Ahmed Diaa, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I find it astonishing that there are people who support the constitution! They seem to have short memories. Can those who have killed and terrorised suddenly become concerned for the interests of those they have killed?
Musaab, Baquba, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: Congratulation to the Iraqis. When we see this courage and when millions turn out to vote, you have to show your respect. I say to those who reject the constitution: Are you the guardians of the nation? Do you know more than those millions who voted, or is it that you are worried about your own interests?
Mohamed Mahmoud, Falluja, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: This is a constitution put together by the Americans and the opposition, which was based abroad. We do not accept it.
Ayman, Basra, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: Was the previous Iraqi constitution a good one? To those non Iraqis who write from the Arab world [criticizing the constitution]: Do you have a constitution that guarantees your rights, as the new Iraqi constitution does? I challenge Arabs to compare their constitution with that of Iraq, then let us hear their comments.
Jihad, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I went early to vote and said yes to the constitution, even though I have reservations. The diversity of the Iraqi population means that reaching a total consensus is impossible. However, having read the document, I found it, on balance, that it strives to reflect at least the minimum of the aspirations of the people of Iraq. As to those who have called on people to boycott the ballot or to vote no, I sense that they miss the one-man rule of Saddam and have faith in democracy. Those who took part and voted, whether yes or no, are patriots.
Wisam Essam, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I read the draft constitution and did not find anything in it that endangers Iraq's unity. It guarantees the rights of all Iraqis and is the only safeguard against the return of dictatorship. I voted yes and it was the most beautiful yes I have ever experienced in the whole of my life.
Fayez Turki, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: Now, more than two and half years since the occupation, the people of Iraq are being misled again. If the constitution is open to future amendments as they now claim, why was that not provided for in the original draft? Why this shiftiness? It is a con to mislead Iraqis and a desperate attempt by the USA to present a nice of image of itself.
Raed Fawzi, Iraq

Basically, this is a war game gone wrong, with too many variables. What remains to be seen now, is what this will hold for the future generations of the Iraq, and how the "War on Terror" causes long standing effects in the socio political scenario on a world stage
Parikshit Shrikant Basrur, Auckland, New Zealand

It is almost a sarcastic joke that the so called coalition's attempt to install a democracy in the heart of Middle East has resulted in nothing but a disputed constitution clearly set to divide not just Iraq but the whole Middle East into sectarian divisions.
Qureshi, Boston, MA.

Congrats! The euros and socialists are against your success, but we are here to support you in your effort to become a modern republic. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it for your children and grand-children. Those who belittle your sacrifice and hard work do so because they are against the US. Their hatred should not deter you from continuing ahead. We are in historic times. I for one stand and cheer and salute your efforts and results. God be with you.
CT, Houston, Texas

It's ludicrous to believe what our government is telling us. "A successful election would be a blow to the insurgents." No matter how the vote goes through, do you honestly believe that the people who fight for what they believe in will hear the results of the election, throw down their arms and walk away? Not in the least. They are willing to die for what they believe in. A successful election means little to them if nothing. The real results will be attained/realized by leaving their country to their own people, not the ones who have been placed in power by us.
Scott Thomas, Wisconsin, USA

A good constitution does not always lead to a democratic society
Nick Foster, Reading, UK
As others have pointed out a good constitution does not always lead to a democratic society. I am not optimistic on the basis of the last few years that a non sectarian regime will arise in Iraq. Isn't it perhaps best to abandon the holy grail of Iraqi unity and allow the Kurds, Sunni and Shia to go their own way? Iraq, like most Middle Eastern countries was a Western creation formed by the ex colonial powers to divide and rule the Arab people, not for their benefit!
Nick Foster, Reading, UK

Congratulations to all Iraqi's on voting on the first democratic constitution in the whole of the Arab world.
Salanhawizy, Aberdeen, Scotland (ex-Iraqi)

The Kurds were enjoying independence before the fall of the dictator; no one could have stopped them from declaring independence after the war in 1991, or any time after the fall of Saddam if they have wanted. Come on guys we had 'the rule of the jungle' for the past 50 years, and now you talk about Iraq splitting up because of the constitution?
Salam, London

The resistance of the Sunnis to participate in the process has cost them first in the election of the provisional government and now in the process of writing a constitution they can endorse. As a result, they will be marginalized even if Iraq holds together as a single national entity. They still have not accepted the reality that they will never again exercise exclusive control over the vast majority on non Sunnis in Iraq nor the oil wealth that lies outside the regions they mostly inhabit.
Mark, USA

Approval of the Iraqi Constitution could not be more important. It is a public affirmation that Iraqi's believe in the process. It is the first halting and unsteady steps towards a working democracy. It beggars belief that any reasonable person would want that process to fail.
Bruce, Blackwell, OK, USA

How soon before there is civil war in Iraq where insurgents run amok? Their constitution is a joke, because the people there don't have the will to defeat the insurgents themselves. The US military will be stuck there for years.
Neil, New York, USA

Ten million voters says it all. That is a measure of people wanting a say in their future. They did not have that choice before. Good for the Iraqis.
George, Chelmsford, UK

It is important that Iraqis negotiate an acceptable constitution rather than allowing things to degrade into a civil war. However, I don't feel that the establishment of an Iraqi constitution in any way justifies the invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration will try to position any progress towards democracy in Iraq as a step towards a pro-West Middle East. In reality, we've provided Iraqis good reason to dislike the coalition nations and given true democracy they will elect leaders that reflect their animosity towards us. Things may work out well for those Iraqis unhurt by the war, but the invading nations will never be able to justify the loss of life and the money wasted in Iraq. I wish the Iraqis luck but as an American I can't help but focus on the damage this war has cause to my country without any potential gain.
Jim, NJ, USA

Iraq's constitution matters a lot less than the constitution's implementation. For example, Liberia's constitution is similar to United States and in some regards its constitution was even ahead of US. historically. However, the difference in implementation of the constitution between the two countries is stark. Finally, U.K. does not even have a written constitution and yet the country has just done fine.
Arun K, Indianapolis, USA

People tend to forget that the Constitution is only a document and only the will of the people will make it work
Omar Siadi, Houston USA
People tend to forget that the Constitution is only a document and only the will of the people will make it work. Do you think that there is that kind of "will" in Iraq right now? The situation in Iraq is more complex than people think. It is to simplistic to think that once you have the constitution peace will reign in Iraq. May God help Iraq.
Omar Siadi, Houston USA

No major violence and 65% turnout. Seems the Iraqi people believe in the process. If they thought it was all US imposed hogwash, they would have stayed at home. The democracy wagon keeps its momentum and the Western pessimists are proved wrong again. Elections next and a 4 year mandate for the winner. To those people in Iraq reading this, please be aware that many of us in the West support you and believe that you can achieve your aims. Too many people have an anti-American agenda and would rather have democracy fail so they can point their finger and sneer at America. Don't pay any attention to them. The Iraqis are a determined people and will prove them wrong. Good luck.
Tim H, UK

Most hilarious is the rash of Europeans complaining about Constitutional legitimacy (or supposed lack there of). Iraqis had more say in adopting their Constitution than most Europeans ever did with the ill-fated "EU Constitution". The Iraqi version seems to be doing infinitely better.
Jon Smith, Brunswick, USA

Once again the silent majority which has endured years of tyranny, not to mention the post-war targeting by the terrorists, has shunned those who threaten them, by carrying out their personal duty to vote, to determine the future foundation of modern Iraq.
Husain, London

The entire world should be pleased and proud of the people of Iraq. These are not small steps they are taking; these are giant leaps of historical proportions.
Penny, USA

A constitution constructed in the midst of carnage is hardly likely to be of sound substance or supported for any length of time. The process has been no more than Western democratic nonsense imposed on a country being made to cower at the end of foreign guns.
Des Currie, Umdloti, South Africa

The new Iraqi constitution will certainly help the Iraqis to live in peace and harmony
N Somasundaram, Sri Lanka
The new Iraqi constitution will certainly help the Iraqis to live in peace and harmony. This will also set an example for the rest of the world proving that for different ethnic group to co-exist in a country, federalism or confederation is the best option.
N Somasundaram, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Sunnis are left out. This is not good for democracy in Iraq. Neither the Kurds nor the Shias can have peace in Iraq without the Sunnis after this mock trial of democracy staged by the US pundits.
C Sachidananda Narayanan, Tirunelveli, India.

We in the US had a civil war even with our constitution. It seems to me that the civil war has already started over in Iraq anyway. A piece of paper won't stop it. At some point we will probably be deciding which faction to back and supply.
Rocky Otis, Marloville, USA

Communist Poland had also one fantastic constitution. We also had "democracy" etc. I am afraid that all this reminds me virtual reality show designed for "Good News" on TV for political gains. By repeating word democracy in hundreds of contexts we can't change reality. By the way, Russians occupied Poland for 120 years¿ to protect Polish freedom. Some things never change.
Andrzej, Gold Coast Australia

History is repeating itself
Shyam, Sanjose, USA
History is repeating itself. At the beginning of last century, at the time of Iraq's creation, it was Shia Ayatollah who told Shias not to join the army or government because of which they ended up as the enslaved majority of Iraq. Now Sunnis are opposing sharing of power with Shias and Kurds. They will definitely end up as a small impoverished desert country with no water or Oil while the Kurdistan in the North and Shia land with Basra as Capital will thrive in the south. If Iraq is split in to three, it is entirely Sunni's fault. The Saddam days are gone, get on with reality and learn how to live as a minority in New Iraq.
Shyam, Sanjose, USA

I think this is a great step in building a democratic Iraq today. A lot of people think that the Sunni Arabs are not getting a say in this constitution, but before we go any further let us remind our selves that it was there decision not vote in the first elections and that's why they got not as much say as they wanted. Besides that we hope for a new, fair Iraq.
Ahmed, UK, London

The positive vote that will result in the adoption of this constitution for Iraq will prove that there is no people on earth who can not or should not enjoy the same rights and freedoms that we in the West take for granted.
Daniel Pout, London, UK

This is not about imposing democracy but about offering Iraqis the chance to take it. Following military defeat Japan and Germany were similarly offered, took it, and became two of most prosperous countries in the world. The constitution is going to be a difficult issue to resolve but we should lose heart.
Jon Sayles, Maidstone, UK

The Iraqi government should have been left to concentrate on restoring security, stability, water and electricity
Zaid Al-Hindawi, Iraqi in London
The Iraqi government should have been left to concentrate on restoring security, stability, water and electricity, instead of writing a thick, legal document called a "constitution". Whatever happens, I hope Iraq stays united.
Zaid Al-Hindawi, Iraqi in London, UK

I was born in Iraq but moved to Britain in 1962. I have never been back since but my affection for the country of my birth is undiminished. I have read the constitution and unfortunately I found nothing in it to promote tolerance, unity and equality. The very last thing Iraq needs now is a constitution that encourages the division of the country on ethnic and religious grounds and promote self interest.
Basil Marogy, London, UK

I was struck by the wide variety of opinion among your respondents. Some will vote 'yes' because they see it as the only way to end the violence or to move forward and deal with the problems of the country. Some will vote 'yes' although they do not like federalism. Also, some Kurds and Shias may vote 'no' and, of course, since the constitution has been amended, the Sunni vote is no longer solidly 'no'. Voting intentions may be far more difficult to discern as a result of mixed Sunni-Shia marriages being commonplace in Iraq. I hope that the Iraqis do vote 'yes' and that, in the three or four regions where Sunnis form the majority, that the 'no' vote is not in the majority. However, I believe that Sunnis will never dominate a future government of Iraq and I just hope that they have already recognised this fact and reconciled themselves to it.
James Phennah, Solihull, United Kingdom

This is what Iraq needs to move forward and progress
Vivian Mirani, Arbil, Northern Iraq
This is what Iraq needs to move forward and progress one step further towards achieving democracy. Iraqi's deserve this and they have earned it more than anyone. I wish Iraq had more international support and I wish we had the media on our side instead of continually reporting the negative side of what goes on within the country. With the help of Americans, Iraqis had rid their country of a horrid dictatorship and step by step they've earned what we have today.
Vivian Mirani, Arbil, Northern Iraq

Politics is a bit like a marriage. If you will only marry when you meet the perfect partner you will never marry. If you will only stay married if you have the perfect partner you will never be happy in marriage. What is important is that you engage each other, interact in an honest and productive manner. Marriage is just the beginning of the hard work but at least the work will lead you somewhere together. Good luck.
Michael, Toronto, Canada

It is a good document for Iraq. Iraq has always been known as the Prussia of the Middle East. This constitution if implemented and supported by strong democratic institutions will prevent Iraq from ever falling under the control of a dictatorship be it Shiite/Sunni, Kurdish or Arab. Good luck Iraq.
Hassan Hillawi, Toronto, Canada

Iraqis living outside Iraq are not allowed to vote. But if I was given the opportunity to vote, I would have voted YES. Not because I agree with it (in fact I don't) but I see it the only thing we have on the table that might (I emphasize might) get us out of the mess.
Saad Abdul-Rassak, Iraqi (living in the UK)

Iraqis must have a constitution which will allow them to fudge unity. The only way for Iraqis to unity is by forming an Islamic Iraq Republic. If the constitution will allow this in a clear manner and making Islam as the foundation then the Iraqis will vote a "YES" this will also reduce the blood shed which currently has risen up to the levels never witnessed before. On the other hands the occupation forces should leave now rather than later. Everything to be determined by Iraqis freely without a hand of influence by the occupying forces.
Sobajaber, UAE

We have to start moving forward
Sherzad, UK
I am a secular Kurd born in Kirkuk. I think this process is very important. We have to start moving forward. It is not going to be perfect and completely as we want but we will make it to a decent life in Iraq. The alternative is a savage backward regime with no understanding of any humanity or decency. Forward Iraq.
Sherzad, UK

It's time for the people to start taking control of their destiny and put an end to this senseless suicide missions. I have personally read the draft constitution and think it represents fairly all groups with promise to uphold rights and freedoms of everyone and share the wealth amongst all Iraqis. I live in Canada that is based on a federal system, and I don't see what's all the complaining about from certain groups in Iraq. If one day I think my province doesn't offer the best services to me, I will simply move to another that does. The difference is that all provinces guarantees me my basic rights and freedoms.
Ali, Montreal, Canada

There's no magic or miracles in constitutional democracy. It's just an opportunity to get organized and to begin to participate in this complex process with the endless negotiation and compromise it entails. Human nature won't change. Problems will still need solutions and creativity. Cynicism and scepticism rarely contribute much, but some enthusiasm can help liberate your creativity.
Geode USA, United States

From my experience of living through a peace process I would hope that the Iraq people will vote yes. It is hugely beneficial to transfer, violence and infighting that happens in a deeply divided but co existing communities, from the streets into conference rooms and political debates. It creates a sense of stability that will always benefit the every day man and woman trying to live life. Progress can be painfully slow.... but it takes time to build trust and change hearts and minds.
Michael McQuitty, Belfast, Northern Ireland

It won't stop the violence as long as foreign troops are occupying Iraq
John M, London, UK
Who cares what the American-influenced constitution says? It won't stop the violence as long as foreign troops are occupying Iraq and as long as the insurgents have enough support to sustain their actions. Sadly, the Iraqis will be disappointed by the lack of real progress and Bush and Blair will call it another defeat for terrorists while planning for the quickest exit possible.
John M, London, UK

For decades the majority Shiites and the Kurds in Iraq were governed by a Sunni elite. There are more Sunnis than Shiites in the Muslim world and countries like Saudi Arabia (Sunni) will never allow Iran (Shia) to dominate Iraqi politics. For this reason alone the new constitution will not be accepted.
Brian, Canada

Have any of you ever been to Iraq? I work here. Most of the people are optimistic. I would say all want peace but let's be realistic. Iraq like Yugoslavia, like much of Africa, is tribal and as such will always have great obstacles to living in peace. After all it took Britain hundreds of years before we could live as one, and that is always in the balance with the Irish issue. Why not publicise some information of the success projects that have been implemented in Iraq since the fall of the dictator.
Stephen Pitts, Dohuk, Iraq

Britain should think about its own democracy
Joe, UK
It is disgraceful that as part of the coalition Britain is pressing Iraq to ratify the constitution, when Britain itself doesn't even have a written constitution. Britain should think about its own democracy, rather than interfering in other nation's affairs.
Joe, UK

This vote is providing the Iraqi people with the opportunity for a genuine democracy and if a jaded overthrown minority reject it so be it.
Ruairi Maxwell, Reading, UK

This is a step toward democracy and self-rule. Naysayers are too quick to discount the feeling of empowerment that comes with casting a ballot.
Pete, Fallujah, Iraq

A constitution is just one of many small steps needed in Iraq to find peace. If it passes, it will be a step forwards but Iraq's problems will be far from over. If it doesn't, it will be a setback but not a disaster, as this simply gives Iraqis the chance to start a new one.
Chris Neville-Smith, Durham, England

I would like to congratulate the courageous people of Iraq for their relentless drive to build a country based on justice and equality. If the Constitution is approved, it will provide true legitimacy for the political process in Iraq.
Ali, Birmingham, UK

All those calling the constitution a sham and the doings of a puppet government must think themselves a lot smarter than the millions of Iraqis who have risked their lives to vote for or against it.
Alex, Boston, Mass, USA

It is plainly cynical to say that democracy is being imposed from above. How many "countries" (edit) around the world have constitutions which were subject to approval in a nationwide referendum? The Iraqis are deciding this for themselves.
J. Snyder, Oxford, UK

Throughout history, facades of peace have proved ineffective in providing cohesion for an ethnically diverse state. Iraq is no special case.
Katherine Agee, London, UK

The deep divisions will remain
Bob McClellan, Polson, USA
Constitutions do not make stable countries, people do. The deep divisions will remain and continue regardless of the spin coming from the Oval Office.
Bob McClellan, Polson, USA

Iraq was an artificial nation to begin with. Clearly the "democratisation" of the country implies and will lead to its break up along tribal lines, in practice and eventually in legality.
M. Gilliam, California, USA

Iraqis are (again) risking their lives to exercise the cornerstone of democracy. Our ancestors would likely applaud their courage and mock most of us. Iraqis are reminding us of the cost others before us have paid for something that many of us now take for granted.
John, Seattle, USA

It is obvious that this new Iraqi constitution, instead of uniting the country, will split it up even deeper to the point of full scale civil war. And the occupation forces will be caught in the middle and will pay dearly for their role.
Jose Amos de Almeida

I truly hope for the sake of everyone on this earth that not only this constitution is ratified but also Iraq becomes governed by its people and learns to peacefully accept the diversity of their own populace.
Roger, Visalia, USA

You cannot impose "democracy" at the barrel of a gun, whilst being an occupying foreign power. Full stop. It is a paradox. If you don't believe me go and look the word up in a dictionary. Democracy is not about imposing your will on another country through force of arms. The largest force of "foreign fighters" in Iraq is from the United States.
Kevin Chesters, UK

It think it's an interesting text, a step forward maybe. The only minor thing is that this is not a normal step in the evolution of a people or a country, but imposed after an invasion by foreign troops. Although it's OK I would not accept it easily.
Marc, Mexico

Bizarrely, the discussions surrounding the Iraqi constitution remind me of a book I once read: The memoirs of Warren Zimmerman, the last US ambassador to Yugoslavia prior to the break-up. His analysis was basically: "Of course multi-culturalism is the right solution for this country. Look how well it has worked in America". Well, in my view this was simplistic then and it is simplistic now. The federalist constitution aims to unite people who hate each other more and more because of the insurgency. I think it will fail. I think the country will break up like Yugoslavia but I hope I'm wrong.
Jean, Paris, France

Personally I think it could led to civil war because the Sunni Muslims do not want democracy and federalism in Iraq.
Joseph Monsanto, Belmopan, Belize

The democratisation of Iraq is moving forwards
Stephan Wright, Cumming, GA, USA
This is the latest opportunity for pessimists and leftists to predict catastrophe in Iraq. The main point is that the democratisation of Iraq is moving forwards. The success of Iraq's first real election earlier this year, appears to be already forgotten by critics or minimised. It is precisely that success which has led to desperate attempts by "insurgents" to prevent a vote on a new constitution. The path to real freedom in Iraq will be difficult. It will be made more certain and shorten Iraqi suffering if those who opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom would stop the carping and get behind coalition efforts to neutralise remnants of Saddam's regime.
Stephan Wright, Cumming, GA, USA

A constitution is the fruit of the free participation of its citizens. The proposed constitution in Iraq is the result of the machinations of an illegitimate puppet government, directed by foreign governments and under illegal military occupation. The whole process is a charade that must be exposed as such.
Carlos Flores, Vancouver, Canada

If the Sunnis are able to vote down the new constitution, it will prove to them that politics, not violence is the way of the future. Either way, the terrorists lose. Either way, there will be new elections and a new democratic government. If they are smart, the Sunni will become a part of it.
Rich, USA

I have thoroughly read the constitution and it's a most modern document that guarantees all the basic rights, ensures equality of women, freedom, rule of law, unity, etc. It is political spin that makes people doubt it. I wonder what those who oppose it want. It really is incredible that a Third World country can debate and negotiate at this high level. It really is a document the world should be proud of. Whatever you do you will never convince al-Qaeda terrorists. Nor will you convince the Sunnis who, despite being a minority, have ruled the country for decades, to accept fairness, justice and equality.
Mohammed, London, UK

This constitution is a sham and will not prevent a civil war because it has been forced upon the Iraqi people by my country.
John, Boise, Idaho, USA

What people forget is that there was an Iraqi constitution in Saddam's time that protected human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and provided equality to everyone before the law, but we all know what had happened in Iraq in those days. What is important is not the words, but the deeds. This is what people in the West - especially the US, where the constitution in supreme - cannot understand. Regardless of what will happen in the current referendum it will be just a matter of time before it will be ignored and reduced to just beautiful wards.
George, St Louis, USA

I believe that the current political strategy is showing success because the Sunni groups who lost out in the January elections are realising the importance of participating. I have a feeling that the election in December will see even more of an increase in Sunni participation. To any Iraqis who may be reading this, please vote whichever way you believe is best and encourage others to vote as well. If you did vote, thank you!
Wes, San Diego, CA, USA

Only an iron-fisted despot could control the three factions within Iraq's boarders. Fear of Saddam kept everyone in line. Each will make the other faction's lives hell unless they are on top.
Rob G, Kansas City, USA

For too long the Sunni Arab minority have been accustomed to a privileged role in the affairs of Iraq. The insurgency feeds off their resentment, but the real question the Sunni Arabs now have to face is whether they should veto the constitution and face an inevitable escalation of what is increasingly a civil war, or work towards making a peaceful and collaborative contribution to Iraq's future.
Nic Oatridge, New York, USA

It is the first constitution which will be chosen by referendum in a free Iraq and therefore should be supported
Mohammed al-Sader, Dublin, Ireland
It is far from a perfect constitution and it will surely displease some, but it is the first constitution which will be chosen by referendum in a free Iraq and therefore should be supported.
Mohammed al-Sader, Dublin, Ireland

I am Iraqi and I am voting no to the American dictated constitution. I hope it will be defeated, otherwise a civil war is coming. The only constitution I will be voting for is the one that is written by the people of Iraq to serve the interest of my country and not US or British interests.

This constitution is dangerous and could split the country into three pieces. This would be a disaster and something which must be avoided. Islam should be used and political Islam should be used to draft a constitution as the one thing Iraq could be united on is Islam.
Khalid Bryce, London, UK

If you discount all that political spin, it is obvious that the Iraqi constitution will transform Iraq from one of the most modern Arab country into an Islamic state, divided, weak, under strong influence from Iran, where women will have less rights. It's a big step backwards. All this, along with the heavy casualties and destruction is a price too high to pay for the removal of Saddam. Ironically, I think Saddam is the only man that can bring order to Iraq at this point, but that of course it's not possible.
Michael, Toronto, Canada

This is historic. For the first time, a constitution which enshrines human rights, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion is being proposed for an Arab country. Predictably, many Arab leaders, including the so-called Arab League, have responded with scorn. Let's not lose sight of the significance of this event! Despite the problems in Iraq, this is indeed a step forward, no matter how hard the anti-war lobby tries to torpedo it.
John C, New York, US

The Sunnis have every reason to be concerned about their future welfare. As soon as the Americans and Brits are gone, Iraq will descend into civil war. It's inevitable.
Steve, Canada

In my opinion, I think the constitution is unlikely to change anything on the ground. Personally I believe it is only a matter of time until the Kurds declare independence and the Shia declare independence and Iraq will be partitioned into various blocs.
M Rahman, UK

As long as the constitution guarantees the unity of Iraq, with Islam being the only source of legislation and the freedom and dignity of every Iraqi -including the sovereignty of the country and the expulsion of all foreign forces from its soil - I think Iraq's new constitution is workable. This must mean Iraq is now totally free from US control and it can sign oil contracts to serve its interests and not those of the Texas oil cartel.
Nizam Yagoub, Saudi Arabia

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