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» 02/14/2005
Sharia will not be basic law, says Bishop Sako
The Bishop of Kirkuk tells AsiaNews that Sunnis will join the government because Shiites and Kurds cannot govern alone.



Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – Mgr Louis Sako, the Bishop of Kirkuk, told AsiaNews that Sunnis will participate in the new government and Sharia will not be adopted as the country's basic law.

Despite low Sunni turnout, the prelate is convinced that Sunnis will be present in the new cabinet. Not only are they 20 per cent of Iraq's population, but Sunnis have been elected to the new National Assembly, and, more importantly, the Shiites and the Kurds cannot govern alone. Even though religious leaders have not expressed an opinion about the elections, the Sunni population shall be represented.

For the Mosul native, there "will not be a civil war because it is not in the nature of Iraqis". Most day-to-day crimes are "not political" but the action of common criminals.

Last week 400 criminals were arrested in Mosul. They confessed on television that they abducted people for money, not for political reasons.

"They are criminals whom Saddam freed on the eve of the war, rejects who have nothing to lose and turn to stealing and murder [to survive]. They have no political or religious motivations".

Speaking on the possibility that the Sharia may be adopted, Bishop Sako has no doubts. For him, "within the new political class, secularists are too strong and will not accept that the religious law become the basis of the new Iraq."

"Democracy in Iraq," he said, "can work only if all political forces get together, if all groups participate, if religious tolerance is upheld".

Christians have a role to play in the new Iraqi leadership even though Christian leaders made a mistake this time in trying to run on four separate tickets, splitting their vote. "But this is an error for people who are still inexperienced at democracy," he explained.

Christians who were elected to the National Assembly have learnt their lesson. Next time, they will run under a single banner. (VFP)

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See also
01/16/2007 IRAQ
Iraq moving towards division, says bishop of Kirkuk
09/29/2008 IRAQ
Appeal from Archbishop Sako: politics is also trying to wipe out Iraqi Christians
02/14/2005 IRAQ
Government should protect minorities rights, says Mosul priest
08/19/2008 IRAQ
In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim leaders pray for peace in the country
01/21/2005 IRAQ
Mosul under Baathist-Islamist control
Government should protect minorities rights, says Mosul priest
Final results released
Saudi elections: an outbreak of democracy in the Islamic world?
Elections a great success for Iraqis, says Jordan's King Abdullah
We are no longer afraid after the elections, says Mosul priest
Electoral surprises: higher turnout and people voting in Fallujah
About 65 per cent of Iraqi expats voted
By voting the people of Iraq made itself heard, says the Patriarch of Baghdad
Elections in Iraq: 72% voter turnout
"Finally free!": the cheer rising from Iraqi Kurdistan
Bishop of Basra: "Today we can start hoping again"
Msgr Warduni: a vote against terrorism
A dogged Iraq vs a lukewarm West
Iraqi expats continue voting
Baathists go home from Italy to vote
Expatriates vote in Iraqi election
More than 16,000 Iraqis go to the polls in Jordan
Bishop of Kirkuk: voting is a national and religious duty
Arab press finds silver lining in Iraq poll
Voting for the new Iraq in Amman

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