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Constituent Assembly to vote on sharia in Egyptian constitution

Disputes over Article 2 of Egypt's constitution will be resolved by a vote in the Constituent Assembly, as Salafists push for a more radical interpretation of the clause

Ahram Online, Tuesday 28 Aug 2012
the constituent ssembly
A general view of the two chambers of parliament meeting to elect the 100 members of the constituent assembly in Cairo ( Photo : REUTERS )
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Salah Abdel-Maqsoud, member of both the Constituent Assembly which is responsible for drafting Egypt's new constitution and the Salafist Nour Party, revealed on Tuesday that the issue of Article 2, the constitutional article related to sharia, will be resolved by taking votes within the general committee of the assembly drafting Egypt's constitution.

Article 2 of Egypt's 1971 constitution states that "the principles of sharia [Islamic law]" should constitute the "principal source" of legislation in Egypt.

During the process of drafting Egypt's post-revolution constitution, this article provoked conflicts within the various formations of the Constituent Assembly, as Salafists and other Islamist voices demanded the removal of the word "principles", to make sharia the primary source of Egyptian law.

Meanwhile, liberal and civil parties demanded the article be kept unchanged to maintain the civil nature of the Egyptian state.

According to Abdel-Maqsoud, the vote on the controversial article will be based on three options: firstly, that the article stays as it was in Egypt's constitution of 1971; secondly, the removal of the phrase "principles", to make Islamic law the main source of legislation; and thirdly, for the 1971 version of the article to stay as it is with the addition of the university of Al-Azhar as a source of legislation.

"An article concerning believers from other religions was inserted in the Freedom and Rights chapter within the constitution," said Abdel-Maqsoud, who added that an article concerned with Al-Azhar being a reference will be present in the chapter of basic principles.

Furthermore, Bassem Rizqa, another member of both the Nour Party and the Constituent Assembly stated that suggestions were made on handing the responsibility of interpreting the word " principles" in Article 2 to Al-Azhar, in order to avoid disputes.

"Another suggestion is eliminating the word principles, if what the people want is to be ruled by Islamic law," said Rizqa.

Rizqa added that no entity, whether religious, judiciary or military, has the authority to constrain the Constituent Assembly to function in a certain way or to impose its vision on the new constitution.

"The only opinion is that of the people," he said.

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Modern_Humaniora
31-08-2012 03:02pm
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The Constitution's Article 2
Isn't it possible to combine SHARIA and PREJUDICE in the Constitution's Article 2 - where SHARIA represents the moral standards (heritage) and PREJUDICE contemporary development? SHARIA is the compact part, and PREJUDICE is the moving part!
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Concerned Egyptian
30-08-2012 12:41am
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More than one religion
Egyptians are not only Muslims there are Christians that should not be forgotten by the Islamists rushing to impose the Sharia by any means possible. Why should Egyptian Christians be ruled by the Sharia? Why are there 3 choices above? Is this a trick by the Islamist dominated Assembly to split the vote of the members voting to keep 'the principles' in Article 2 and then claim it was a democratic majority vote? When it comes to the respect of Law in Egypt the people and governments only follow the laws that suit them. So many examples but consider people building illegally, driving their cars on the wrong side of the road (including the police and government vehicles) as popular illegal activities practiced by many. What is needed is a vibrant economy and public education to responibilise citizens. Sharia will further divide the religions at a time when national unity, mutual understanding and respect of each others freedoms is most needed. Let's leave Article 2 as it is an
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Modern_Humaniora
29-08-2012 05:12pm
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The PRIMARY source of legislation
I believe that legislation should not be based on some political ideology. But, if one do so one risk to have at the end of the day e.g. neo-liberalism. Political ideologies don't represents human behavior, they don't represents moral standards, they only represent ideas how to e.g. distribute well-fare or not to distribute well-fare. Neo-liberalism is a very good example of sheer nihilism. That is, an absolute lack of moral standards. Therefore I believe that the PRIMARY source of legislation shall be sharia in Egypt's new constitution. I am confident that it would be a great mistake not to use sharia as the PRIMARY source of legislation.
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P
29-08-2012 08:57am
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Sharia is like communism, works fine in theory... but never in practice
What a distraction. Part of me wants the Salafists to get their way so that everyone can learn how useless this focus on primitive law will be. Of course, it will result in at least 3 lost decades, and the Egyptians deserve something better. Young, modernizing Egyptians, you are going to have to fight hard to bring your country in the modern world !
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Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee (Baluch) --USA
29-08-2012 11:57pm
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Authentic Freedom of Expression First, Please!
Dear Nazeer, I will be glad to be very 'specific' about the problems with the Quran-Sunnah based Shariah, but the broblem is that if the "ahramonline" publishes those specifics along with references to the Quran and Islamic primary sources of information about the Sunnah, its editors / administrators will lose their jobs and most probably will be mob-lynched. Thanks to God the Almighty that , along with my wife, children and grandchildren, I live in a 'DAAR-al-KUFR'. (May God the Almighty bless & protect it.) .
Nazeer
29-08-2012 10:10am
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Study & Be Realistic
You are absolutely wrong in your asessment. Instead of emotional statements let us read and be specific.
Nazeer
29-08-2012 10:10am
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Study & Be Realistic
You are absolutely wrong in your asessment. Instead of emotional statements let us read and be specific.
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shoaib ahmed
29-08-2012 07:05am
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the door to success is only relegion
i dont know from where this guy has read the history of last 2000years bt the fact is the only way for a muslim state should be according to laws made by sharia..... people will call u extremist n blah blah thier ''freedom'' does not include choosing the islam way of life .... if a nation wants to impose sharia in majority then sharia it should be ...... u guys cant say a word when west bann veil which is a violation of ''freedom'' just coz ur hearts are dark with hate to islam but the fact is you cant stop the ''light of Allah ''
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The voice of reason
29-08-2012 03:29pm
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The Door to success is respect!
Western countries do not use Sharia= Successful in terms of introducing new innovations, technological and medical advances to the world, respect human rights, democratic and respect all people with different religions (majority of people)
The voice of reason
29-08-2012 03:29pm
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The Door to success is respect!
Western countries do not use Sharia= Successful in terms of introducing new innovations, technological and medical advances to the world, respect human rights, democratic and respect all people with different religions (majority of people)
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Human
28-08-2012 10:12pm
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Weel Being for the people
It seems that no one in Parliament or of the leading People is realy interested in the real well being of the people! Just talks on power and Religion and Sharia. More then 2000 years have shown clearly that religion is not a solution for any social or economic problem. It is rather the source of immense distruction and huge amount of unhappy and moreover uneducated people! Now Egypt having the chance to turn into a secular country with a bright future, the discussion on whether the Sharia should be a source of law for the people!!! Welcome to the middle ages and good luck!
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A woman
29-08-2012 01:39pm
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Solution???
To Nazeer Ataullah: Please you should be realistic! Look at all the countries with strict Sharia Law! They are not only the most back-warded countries in the world with all the terrible violations of culture, cultural heritage, human rights or women's rights, but also the most POOREST as a result from the first... For example Afghanistan, Sudan, etc.pp - So to which problem Sharia is the solution??? Can you tell me this please exactly with some examples???
Nazeer Ataullah
29-08-2012 10:17am
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Turn to Creator & His Just Rules
I deny your statement 'religion is not a solution for any social or economic problem'. All 'isms' failed because they are short sighted and one sided. If individuals / states follows Shariah with word and spirit that will be a lasting solution to the world problems. For example today's world is facing great financial problem due to interest based economy. We lost 200 years in experiencing capitalism. Likewise how many centuries we will loose in experiencing human laws. Only solution turn to the Creator and His Just Rules.
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Dr. Malek Towghi /Tauqee (Baluch) --USA
28-08-2012 09:10pm
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Egyptians, Please don't go the ... ... Way!
Just drop the Article 2 in all its suggested forms; nothing bad will happen to Egypt. By keeping the Article in any form will make all the talk in the constitution about justice, freedom, equal rights for all citizens, national unity etc. NONSENSE. Egyptians, Please, don't go the Pakistani-Saudi-Irani-Taliban way, Please! The experience of 14 centuries or so should be enough to tell XYZ: "A'TI-nee HURRIYYAT-ee, ATLIQ YADAYY-a; QAYDUK-a ADMAA MA'SAMAYY-a." (I don't remember the poet's name; it was sung by Umm Kulthoum, I think. I may be wrong. MT)
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najjar
29-08-2012 11:15am
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and you pretend to know all about Shari'a ?
If you are incapable of knowing and worse don’t even bother to research the poete's name before your post your nonsense and least save yourself from embarrassment, then how could you possibly be educated about the Shari’a and pass ignorant judgment ? No wonder all the Islam bashers are thought of as loonies and not taken seriously LOL. There you go if you are too lazy to research and study before you post and as a bonus I am giving you the name: Ibrahim Nagi
Dalou
28-08-2012 10:31pm
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Not wrong
It always made me cry when she expressed the song with a long heart breath "OUUFF".
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