Iraqi Police - The Iraqi Police and Islamic Law

The Iraqi Police and Islamic Law

The Baathist regime began to increase the role of Islam in government during the early 1990s, with required religious education in the schools, permitting honor killings and religious committees to parole neighbors and punish people who are deemed to be violating traditional mores (i.e. engaging in adultery, fornication, homosexuality or sodomy). Some of this has continued in the post-Baathist government.

The Constitution stipulates that Islam is the official religion, enacted laws must conform to Islamic morality and that Constitutional provisions for civil rights and liberties shall be limited in accordance with public mores, which means Islam. Many members of the Iraqi police and Interior Ministry have ties to the Islamic fundamentalist Badr Brigade, which have been give leeway to punish people suspected of immorality.

In Basra for instance it was reported that police guarding a local park made no attempt to stop an armed group from severely beating two women and then shooting dead a male Iraqi friend of theirs. It has been suggested that the motivation for the attack was the mixing of men and women in a public place. In some instances it has been said that the armed groups involved in these and other political killings were actually police officers.

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