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Democracy of believers

Iraq should look to Israel for a model that combines democracy and religious belief

By Reza Aslan   June 2005

As the new Iraq begins the long and gruelling process of constructing a viable democracy, the question on everyone’s mind seems to be whether the Shia parties that now dominate the provisional government will seek to establish Islam as the official state religion. Indeed, dire predictions are already being made that the Shia are planning to turn the country into a totalitarian theocracy modelled on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

But while the new Iraq will in all likelihood be an “Islamic” state (in a country in which 96 per cent of the population is Muslim, it would be ridiculous…

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