OKAY, I haven’t actually seen the results of this Gallup poll on Iraqis’ attitudes (it’s subscription-only) but a generally reliable media reader sends this summary:
Wanted to pass along the results of the latest Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing Baghdad survey regarding Baghdadis’ priorities for a new Constitution.
Virtually without exception (98% “agree,” 1% “disagree”), Baghdadis agree that the new constitution should guarantee all Iraqis the right “to express their opinion on the political, social, and economic issues of the day.” No demographic group appears to view freedom of speech as anything other than the most basic of civil rights.
To a large extent this freedom is already realized, even in the absence of a formal constitutional guarantee. Seventy-five percent of Baghdad’s residents told Gallup they now feel freer to express their political views in public than they did before the invasion that ousted Hussein’s regime.
Similarly, the vast majority of Baghdad’s residents — nearly 9 in 10 (86%) — agree that the country’s next constitution should include a provision “allowing all Iraqi citizens to observe any religion of their choice and to practice its teachings and beliefs.”
The proposed constitutional provision receiving the least popular approval is freedom of assembly — a guarantee “allowing all Iraqi citizens to assemble or congregate for any reason or in support of any cause.” Approximately two-thirds (68%) of those interviewed support such a guarantee, while 25% do not.
Interestingly, I suspect that there’s more support for free speech in Baghdad than on many university campuses these days. Further proof, I guess, that we’re facing an educational quagmire! [98%? — Ed. That’s what it says.]