Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US relents on Islamic law to reach Iraq deal: "The United States has eased its opposition to an Islamic Iraqi state to help clinch a deal on a draft constitution before tonight's deadline.
American diplomats backed religious conservatives who threatened to torpedo talks over the shape of the new Iraq unless Islam was a primary source of law. Secular and liberal groups were dismayed at the move, branding it a betrayal of Washington's promise to advocate equal rights in a free and tolerant society.
Stalemate over the role of Islam, among other issues, meant last week's deadline was extended for a week. Outstanding disputes could produce another cliffhanger tonight, triggering a further extension.
The Bush administration, keen to show the political process is on track, has waded into negotiations and pressured all sides to compromise."
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