Iraqi Governing Council Signing Constitution Shows Sign of Unity Between Different Religions

IRAQ -- Signing ceremony was held on Monday where the U.S. ?picked Iraqi Governing Council signed the temporary constitution. This will be the key step in U.S. plans to hand power to the Iraqis by July 1, the Associated Press reported.

Bahr al-Ulloum, an elderly Shiite cleric who heads the council, described the signing of the new charter as a "historic moment, decisive in the history of Iraq."

According to the media, the ceremony marked the end of two turbulent weeks as the country's Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians showed signs of unity.

Despite criticisms among Islamic leaders, President Bush praised the 22-page charter, saying its adoption was a "historic milestone in the Iraqi people's long journey from tyranny and violence to liberty and peace."
Photo: Mohammed Bahr Al-Ulloum, the current President of the Iraqi Governing Council, is helped by an unidenified person, as he signs the new Iraqi interim constitution during a historic signing ceremony Monday March 8, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq. The signing came after the council members finally resolved a political impasse sparked by objections from the country's most powerful cleric. The signing was a key step in U.S. plans to hand over power to the Iraqis. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Vivian S. Park