A War For Islamism

A quote from a professional woman in Iraq:

"Some clerics and politicians are forcing religion into our lives. We're being pushed back 1,000 years in time."

The veil is back, with a vengeance:

Even though extreme Islamists have exerted influence over society for the past four years, many women say the country's two-year-old democratically elected parliament is even more responsible for the regression of civil liberties and fashion choices.

"The government differs on all issues except women's rights," said Yanar Mohammed, the president of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq. "They're using the new constitution to impose Islamic law and reduce women's rights."

For example, Maysoon Al-Damlugi, who is among the 25 percent of women in Iraq's 275-seat parliament, said most female colleagues in the legislature cover their heads. It is, she said, an indication of how religious fervor has seized the political landscape.

The abaya - the head-to-toe body-covering - is now everywhere in Iraq, a product, it would seem, of Iraq's liberation. This is part of what America's soldiers are now dying for in Iraq: to push women's rights back decades.