Constitution to Establish Islam as State Religion, Provide Religious Freedom for Others

January 9, 2004

Source: The Washington Times

On January 9, 2004 The Washington Times reported, "The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan yesterday said Afghans will not be forced to practice Islam, even though the country's new draft constitution makes numerous references to Islam's supremacy. 'The constitution recognizes that the religion of the state of Afghanistan is Islam,' Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said in response to questions from The Washington Times. 'The majority of Afghans, about 98 percent or so, are Muslims. But there are other religions that have adherents there,' Mr. Khalilzad added. 'The draft constitution that has been approved by the loya jirga now recognizes the right of people who belong to other religions to practice their religions.'"