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Egypt constitution committee opposes 'anything Islamic': Salafist Call

Yasser El-Borhami denounces proposed removal of Islamic articles from constitution by 'liberal/leftist-dominated committee'

Ahram Online, Sunday 22 Sep 2013
Yasser El-Borhami
Egyptian Salafist figure Yasser El-Borhami (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Salafist Call spokesperson Yasser El-Borhami has criticised Egypt's constitution-amending committee and accused it of attempting to weaken the country's "Islamic identity."

"The [50-member] committee is predominantly composed of leftists and liberals, including extremist ones, who are strongly against anything Islamic," El-Borhami said in an article published on the group's website.

He slammed proposed amendments to Articles 4 and 81 put forward by an earlier ten-member committee of jurists.

The proposed amendments suggest removing Article 4, which states the supreme scholars committee of Al-Azhar, the country's highest Islamic institution, should be consulted on all matters relating to Sharia in the law-making process.

The jurists also suggested removing part of Article 81, which states freedom exists "as long as it does not contradict the first section of the constitution," which includes Sharia law and Al-Azhar’s authority to preside over its interpretation.

"Why do they want to destroy commitments to the [social] boundaries of Egyptian society by leaving freedoms loosely defined?" El-Borhami asked.

He also claimed the committee does not have the prerogative to alter the constitution.

"Those who took to the streets on 30 June did not demand the removal of the constitution, so why is the committee infringing upon the Islamic identity of Egyptian society?"

The Nour Party, the Salafist Call's political arm, has repeatedly criticised proposed amendments to the constitution and claimed the 50-member committee underrepresents Islamists.

The party's only representative has attended the committee despite earlier considering a boycott.

The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of a transitional roadmap following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July after mass protests against his presidency.

The Nour Party supported the roadmap, but has since voiced concern over the lack of Islamists in the interim government.

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Salah
23-09-2013 03:34pm
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Politicians are liars, should we trust them with Islam?
Islamic air, Islamic water, Islamic medicine, Islamic laws, Islamic lands, are all kinds of nonsense. Adding the word "Islam" in front of nonhuman things is illogical to any anyone with common sense. Politicians anywhere use religion to control people. State-religion system is not Islamic but was common in Europe a few century ago, and therefore were bloody. Many Christians at that time strongly believed that Church-State are the same-like Muslims today. our politicians are trying hard to control us with religion. Given that ALL politicians are liars, East or West, North or South, Muslims or Christians, Believers or none, should then we trust them with our Islam?
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Jen
23-09-2013 11:04am
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Salafists are a tiny...
While Egypt does have an Islamic majority... there are still different beliefs among that majority... Salafists are a tiny portion of the Islamic population, why should they have more representation than one person on that committee (maybe because these radical Islamist groups are power hungry, control freaks)? I think Egyptians spoke out by the millions, in July, that they want no part of an Islamic state. Religion is for God, government is for the people.
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Jen
23-09-2013 10:57am
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That thing on his forehead
That thing on his forehead comes, supposedly, from his constant prayer and touching his forehead to the floor in submission to God. However, that looks so fake it's unbelievable that he is trying to pass it off as real... Think about the spot what would touch the floor... that is the only spot that doesn't have a mark. Most, if not all, of these forehead marks are fake. Just to give the illusion of being pious so they can better control the uneducated masses.
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Tammy
22-09-2013 11:49pm
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open your eyes
People do not want their lives ruled by sharia or islamic law. Why should a whole country have to live by one religious sects religious laws? If islamists want to live by sharia law let them do it in their own personal lives & not force it onto the entire population of Egypt. The only way religion should be in a constitution is to state the fact that it is up to each individual to have freedom to believe & practice a religion of their own choosing without persecution, not because a constitution forces any certain religion on them and into their lives. As long as there is a certain set of religious laws to live by specified in the constitution there is going to be bias against all other religions & that is not fair to ALL EGYPTIANS BECAUSE NOT 100% OF EGYPTIANS ARE ISLAMISTS. If the extremist islamists are that upset & insecure about sharia & islamic laws being removed then to me it just shows that they do not have enough faith in their religion to let it stand for itself. Religion is a personal choice & should not involve the government at all. The new constitution should be for ALL EGYPTIANS regardless of religion, not just for the islamists.
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neil
22-09-2013 10:47pm
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not nothing
He states that the constitution will "leave freedoms loosely defined" so I would like him to know, his predecessor has a letter from me, in which I note articles in the constitution I wrote, addressing this issue, they include a 'family values' article, a freedom of information article defining the grounds for censorship, and a Sura about letter of the law vs. spirit of the law. and only freedom of expression/speech to criticize government policies is guaranteed. oh,and anti-system parties are not free to hold government office.
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Saleem Ahmed
22-09-2013 08:00pm
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DOESN'T HE FORESEE IT WHEN HIS PARTY WAS HELPING THE MILITARY COUP?
Doesn't he and his party foresee it when they were helping the military coup? Steadfastness is what Islam demands from Muslims and Muslim leaders. Those who are steadfast and honest to their faith and principles have given unforgettable sacrifices in Raba Al Adawiya and have proven their mettle. Yasser El-Borhami, his Nour Party, and Al Azhar Grand Shaikh Al Tayyib utterly lack these traits in them. They have tainted themselves. Their crocodile tears are now of no use. May Allah save Egypt from military Pharaohs and Muslim hypocrites. At least Al Baradaie proved to be a more principled person than people like Borhami or Al Tayyib! May Allah guide him and make him steadfast. Ameen.
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Reslan
23-09-2013 07:32am
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Hypocrites
They made a historical mistake ..... now suffering for it....let all of them to repent from almighty GOD, and we will pray for these people as well...
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Farid
22-09-2013 05:16pm
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Egyptian Identity
With all respect to all Muslim brothers and sisters. Short history lesson: in 640A.D. Arab invaders conquer Egypt, which was mix of cultures and religions for previous thousands years of history. Islamisation of country begun since 640. The republic of Egypt has recognized Islam as the state religion in 1980. Tho majority of Egyptians are Muslims, however saying "Islamic Identity" is historically incorrect, even considering Islam as state religion ONLY for 33 years. All Egyptians are equal - regardless their faith.
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