Just the right bit of religion

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Since the final draft of the new Iraqi constitution was released last Thursday to citizens in Baghdad, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has released a review of its human rights protections, especially those regarding religious freedom. While noting some improvements, USCIRF sees the inclusion of Islam as the state religion and its designation as the “a fundamental source of legislation” as a danger to civil liberties. Especially troubling to the Commission is that the interpretation and implementation of the laws will be determined by the Iraqi high court, which will contain Islamic jurists with no training in western-style civil law legal traditions. The majority Shiite Muslims in Iraq support the final draft of the constitution, while militant factions of the Sunni minority are calling for a boycott of the referendum and threatening participants with violence.

The concerns raised by the Iraqi constitutional draft and court nominations add an interesting element to the somewhat parallel civic conversation surrounding the Supreme Court nominee debacle in the US. As Miers’ evangelical history is simultaneously attacked, right and left by some, and touted as a selling point by others, some Americans may be left wondering exactly when and how the principle of church-state separation gets implemented; then again, some have already made up their mind.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest