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Coalition formed to ensure sharia-friendly Egyptian constitution

The FJP, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, and other Islamist groups plan to unite forces to ensure that Egypt's new constitution conforms with 'Islamic law'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Oct 2012
Coalition formed to ensure sharia-friendly constitution
A protester from a Salafist Islamic group shouts Koranic verses as he holds an Egyptian flag (Photo: Reuters)
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Several Islamist political groups, including Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the Freedom and Justice Party and Al-Dawa Al-Salafiya have announced that they will form a coalition of political parties and Islamic forces to ensure that Egypt's new constitution is shaped in accordance with Islamic sharia (law).

They aim to coordinate with the Constituent Assembly in order to do so, stating that they will not accept the takeover of the drafting process by a "minority of liberals", according to statements made during a meeting at the headquarters of the Islamist Building and Development Party on Tuesday.

The group announced that they will not accept a constitution that contradicts sharia, and they plan to organise popular movements to support their cause. They are also calling for sharia to become the "only source" of legislation.

However, the Islamist coalition agreed to postpone Friday's planned protests, which had been planned under the slogan "demanding the application of sharia in the constitution," until they are able to mobilise more people for their cause.

The drafting of the new constitution is being hindered by conflicts between liberals and Islamists over the issue of applying sharia. Several articles in the proposed constitution related to the issue have been rejected by liberal forces and human rights advocates.

The fate of the constitution-drafting body remains unknown, however, as it remains at the centre of a legal battle regarding the possible unconstitutionality of its formation. A case against the body was referred by the Administrative Court to the High Constitutional Court last Tuesday, and if successful could lead to the dissolution of the current assembly.

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