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Egypt's constitution Party seeks prosecution for 'infidel' fatwa by Islamist sheikhs

The newly-formed Constitution Party is taking legal measures after two Islamist sheikhs described the organisation as 'infidel' and forbade followers from joining

Ahram Online, Friday 28 Sep 2012
Mohamed ElBaradei
Mohamed ElBaradei, founder of the Constitution Party (Photo: Reuters)
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The Constitution Party filed a report on Thursday with supreme state security prosecutors regarding Salafist preacher Wagdy Ghoneim, and Islamist sheikh and Constituent Assembly member Mohamed El-Athry, for the defamation and insulting of party members.

El-Athry had issued a fatwa [religious decree] prohibiting joining the party, which was then circulated widely in the media, and supported by Ghoneim.

The report claims that Ghoneim, in a video posted online, stated that he supported "every word" of the fatwa, and described the Constitution Party as an "infidel" organisation.

Tamer Gomaa, vice president of the party's legal committee commented that "although Ghoneim and El-Athry's slanderous accusations that are not worth a reply, we chose to take legal procedures to stop anybody who crosses the line with the party."

A party statement accused Ghoneim and El-Athry of committing offences subject to criminal law, namely slander and public insult.

The Constitution Party was founded by reform campaigner ElBaradei. Prominent members of the party include former culture minister Emad Abou Ghazi, former Ghad Party member Gameela Ismail, and founder of the Kefaya movement George Ishaq.

The party received formal legal approval of its status on 17 September, following a decision by the High Court's political party affairs committee.

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omar
03-10-2012 04:34pm
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Medieval Age
it is because of people like wagdy ghoneim and his obscure brotherhood that Egypt will head to medieval ages...everyday people are sued for "insulting" religion...it is becoming a ridiculous issue...i am deeply concerned about this...now we have 10 year children detained for tearing up papers where quarnic verses were written....what is this non sense? and meanwhile people are only getting poorer
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Dina
29-09-2012 12:18am
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Another thing...
These people only approve of freedom of speech when it is about that they believe in. For example, go to the MB website. They are in an uproar right now over 2 of their lawyers who are facing lawsuit right now over insulting the judiciary and Supreme Court. They are saying they are allowed to free speech and this is against democracy. The same MB whose lawyers and members every day file lawsuits against people who speak out against them, Dr. Morsi, and people or groups they deem as immoral or against Islam. Ask them about the kid who is facing 6 years of jail time for posting that stupid "film" on Facebook and insuling Morsi. The same men who KILLED the student in Suez are only getting double the time (15 years in prison.) Is this right? This is your justice? This is your Islam?
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Dina
29-09-2012 12:12am
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Fight fire with fire
I totally agree with the notion of freedom of expression, especially when it comes to politcs. That is why countries in the US are so far ahead in terms of human rights and democracy. However, in the ME and Egypt freedom of expression is only allowed to a certain degree.Offending presidents and religion seems to be a huge crisis. This is probably the reason there is so much religious extremism and dictatorship.The Constitution party probably believes in freedom of speech but when the have psycho sheikhs like this playing dirty and issuing fatwas to stupid people in Egypt, what choice do they have but to fight back?
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Eric
28-09-2012 02:44pm
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in the u.s.
we call it freedom of expression. anyone is allowed to speak there opinion about any political party Religious leaders here say don't vote for one party or another based on there religious teachings.
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zak
29-09-2012 08:24am
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i hope
I hope we are spared from having to live with all the extreme creepiness of national US political discourse and FOX syndrome of lethargic political non-debate.
sk
29-09-2012 12:15am
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Not freedom of speach
Different issue. The implication in Egypt is 'don't join the party or else expect a violent response.l
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