11/09/2015, 00.00
伊拉克
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巴格达宗主教呼吁国际法庭公开抵制未成年人伊斯兰化法规

作者 Louis Raphael I Sako*
伊拉克加尔丁礼宗主教萨科枢机领导的伊拉克教会坚决反对议会通过的破坏宗教自由法规。宗主教呼吁伊拉克共和国总统驳回议会议案重审,否则教会将上诉国际法庭。这是为伊拉克全体公民正义与平等的斗争

巴格达(亚洲新闻)—“一旦”日前伊拉克议会通过的未成年人伊斯兰化法规予以实施“我们将会作出全球范围内的回应”。必要情况下,将把全体伊拉克议员告上“国际法庭”。这是伊拉克加尔丁礼宗主教萨科枢机就不久前出台的“未成年人伊斯兰化法规”发表的声明,痛斥这是对宗教自由的沉重打击。根据这一法规,一旦父母一方改信伊斯兰,十八岁以下的未成年人子女自动成为穆斯林信徒。过去几个月里,曾经提出过修订案,要求未成年人在十八岁前保留原信仰,待他们十八岁成年后在自行决定自己的信仰。十月底,伊拉克议会驳回了这一建议。萨科枢机感谢穆斯林信徒以推动国家和伊拉克社会多元化名义支持教会立场;勉励议员们“关心让公民成为好市民,不要卷入宗教信仰问题”。并明确指出,一旦共和国总统和议会无视教会的要求,伊拉克教会随时上诉国际司法当局。以下为萨科枢机声明全文英文版:

The vote of the deputies of the Iraqis, which was held October 27, 2015, in favor of the National Charter has generated great resentment among Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. It obliges children under 18 to automatically embrace the Muslim religion, if even only one parent decides to convert to Islam (Art. 26.2).

Leaving aside the fact that a parent betrays his bond with his children, it is unacceptable that this implies that the second party is deprived of the opportunity to fulfill the promise made and keep their religious faith.

In addition, we have responded in a theological and scientific  manner to one of the MPs who had indicated his opposition to our request. He was also highly disrespectful in his treatment towards us, completely lacking in courtesy.

This norm is one of the most discriminatory, because it shows a total disregard for the values ​​of the civilization of Iraq and against those who are considered to be among the first citizens of this country.  All this is a threat to the unity of the nation, as well as social balance, religious pluralism and the principle of acceptance of the other in their diversity, with their unique situation and common life goals.

The affirmative vote by MPs to such a law is contrary to what is written in the Koran itself,  where it indicates that in more than one verse that there is no requirement to embrace a religion. This contrasts at the same time with the thought of the greatest Muslim theologians, among whom we fondly recall the great professor Mostafa Zalmi who wrote in his book: The Koran and the norm under which the child follows the religion better one parent (2à Edition, Erbil 2011). All of this also tramples over a provision of the Iraqi Constitution, as Article 3 provides that: "Iraq is a nation made up of different ethnic groups, religions and denominations "; and again, Article 37, paragraph 2: "The country guarantees the protection of the individual against any doctrinal, political or religious coercion"; Finally, Article 42: "Every individual has freedom of thought, conscience and ideology." And as we are part of the international community, this law is contrary to human rights standards and international treaties.

We thank our Muslim brothers, NGOs and human rights delegations in Iraq, for their strong support as we go forward and protest against this discriminatory law and we want to renew our opposition  to this homogeneous Charter. At the same time, we want to assert the principle that the child should keep their religious affiliation, so that he or she can freely decide their faith, according to belief,  when they come of age. After all, religion is a matter which concerns only the relationship between God and man, and should not be bound by any obligations.

Parliamentarians would do well to worry about an individual become a good citizen, and not meddle in his or her religious faith. This is why we appeal to the President of the Republic of Iraq Fuad Masoum, that he return the bill to the Assembly of Deputies to be modified and at the same time, we urge Members to assume their responsibilities and really create conditions of justice and equality among all Iraqi citizens. And again, we want to state emphatically that, in case of application of this law, we will make our voice heard at the international level and we will ensure that the Assembly of Deputies must respond about this before the international tribunal.

* Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and president of the Episcopal Conference of Iraq

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