Iraq: Chaldean Patriarch calls for changes in 'pro-Islamic' draft constitution

 Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly has appealed to foreign countries to press for changes to Iraq's draft constitution as it gives too much prominence to Islamic law. "We are not very happy, although it represents a step forward for the country," said the Patriarch in a statement to Italian news agency SIR. "We will have difficulties because of some articles present in the approved draft. "I appeal to leaders of foreign powers and to the Holy See to exert pressure to amend these articles and to guarantee the rights of all," he said. "In particular, the text states that the Shariah, Islamic law, is the 'sole source' of law in Iraq, and that no law can be contrary to the rules of Islam. "It could happen that "whoever wants to open an alcoholic-beverage store is denied a permit because it goes against Islamic law," the Patriarch said. "And, who will decide that this goes against Islam? Only a Muslim judge!" Although Christianity is one of the oldest religions in Iraq, there are only about 800,000 Christians in the country. About 70 per cent of these are Chaldeans. Since the American-lead invasion of Iraq there have been a growing number of attacks and threats against Christian homes, churches and businesses. Source: CISA/ICN