National Press Club

Leader of Liberal Party in Iraq Lays Out Party Platform

February 1, 2010 | By Peter Hickman |

The Ahrar (Liberal) Party of Iraq supports a secular Iraqi government that views all sects, tribal affiliations and religious preferences equally, the party head said at a Newsmaker Jan. 28.

In discussing the country's March general elections for the Council of Representatives, Imam Ayad Jamal Aldin also said his party supports freedom of press, information and speech, women's rights and "heavy concentration" on job creation and strengthening of the economy.

Aldin said the Ahrar Party favors creation of a secular state "not to reduce the role of God in our lives, but to liberate religion from the state." He said his party wants a state "free of the turban and other theological symbols."

He also said he approves the limited use of alcohol, noting that "I have never seen a terrorist coming out of a bar, but some do come out of mosques." He also said, "The Prophet destroyed the mosques of those who would commit terrorism. So would I."

Aldin said his party "offers a strong and viable alterative as a force for change against the current failed Iraqi Prime Minister and government." He also said "Ahrar pledges to restore dignity to Iraq's government by tackling corruption and violence within" the country.

Aldin also said he wants "an end to the political sectarianism that pits Kurd against Shia and Turkmen against Sunni," because he believes we Iraqis have a shared history and...a shared destiny. ... Freedom, tolerance and security (should) walk hand-in-hand."
A father of three boys and three girls, Aldin said he sees the need for reform in a country "where a 3-year-old girl can distinguish different types of explosions, where children are forced to work to help their families survive, and where children are born into a world of poverty and thirst, in a 'land of two rivers' that sits on top of a sea of oil."