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Writers and artists protest 'Brotherhoodisation' of Egypt's constitution
Egyptian intellectuals fear freedom of expression is threatened by what they consider a Brotherhood-controlled assembly that is drafting the new constitution
Mohammed Saad , Monday 3 Sep 2012
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Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Publisher Mohammed Hashem (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Writer Mohammed Salmawy (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Side of the Protest (Photo: Ayman Hafez)

Hundreds of Egyptian writers and artists staged a protest on Sunday, 2 September in front of the Shura Council (upper house) building to protest the first leaked drafts of the constitution that is being written by the Constituent Assembly.

Protesters demand the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, which they describe as "illegitimate."

Writers Bahaa Taher, Mohamed Salmawy, Saad Hagras, Nabil Abdel Fattah Salwa Bakr, visual artist Mohamed Abla, and publisher Mohamed Hashem were among the protesters.

The protesters argue that the members of the current Assembly are not elected and do not represent the wide range of Egyptian society.

The protesters said that the Assembly is part of the Brotherhoodisation of the country, as its members only reflect the views of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, they charge, is consolidating its grip and monopolise the next constitution to conform to their views.

The first leaked draft of the articles on freedoms show signs that the new constitution might hold onto the times of censorship and actually put new constraints on freedoms of creativity and expression.

"We’re here today to call for a constitution that reflects the views of all Egyptians; we want a real social contract - not a contract between the Muslim Brotherhood, which is very discriminatory," publisher Mohamed Hashem told Ahram Online.

"The discourse they’re adopting is very racist and discriminatory. We won’t accept that. They do not respect the rest of the people and they think we’re all atheists. Imagine what kind of a constitution these people could write!” he added.

Visual artist Mohamed Abla expressed his dismay over the Constituent Assembly, arguing that it does not reflect the Egyptian identity. All Egyptians should participate in the drafting and come up with a constitution that reflects their views, he asserts.

"This assembly is illegitimate and, therefore, the constitution will be void, too. This will bring us back to square one: we should dissolve this assembly and elect another one,” Abla said.

Writer Ibrahim Abdul Maguied spoke his views to Ahram Online that the current Assembly isn’t transparent, since they always leave out certain information on the advancements they make on the constitution.





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MPA
04-09-2012 05:04pm
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So I see the complaints, but no exerpts?
Why are we splashed with complaints about this part of the constitution, but no one makes any specific reference to the articles? Isn't the writer being somewhat lazy in his/her reporting?
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Dr. Malek Towghi /Tauqee (Baluch) --USA
04-09-2012 10:55am
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LONG LIVE
Long live the Egyptian writers, artists and free-thinkers. It is a pity if Egypt becomes a Pakistan.
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Paul Khald
03-09-2012 07:35pm
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Islamists?
Who are they and what their qualifications? I am demolition expert with advanced college degree and over 10 years experience. Islamists must have college degree and years of Islamic community services. The same is fo doctors, engineers, newsmedia reproters, chemists, geologists, etc. Any terrorist now call himslef "Islamist" SHame on you idiots.
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A woman
05-09-2012 02:44pm
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You suffer...
Hello dear Hector M! I think you must suffer endlessly from a very serious form of "Coptophobia". I hope this disease is not infectious, hahaha...
Hector M
03-09-2012 10:33pm
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To Paul Khalid
Paul Khalid,I observe majority of the comments from Copts, you Copts are less than 5% of population, and have captured the majority of resources of Egypt like this message 7 comments board. MB not called Islamists like you Christians called Copts, MB are voice of the Egyptians, Egyptians elected them fair and square. You so called Lib tards, and Copts eat your heart out, as Egyptians voice MB will rule with great success.
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Omar Habal
03-09-2012 07:32pm
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No to Religious DIctatorship
We are ending military dictatorship after 50 years of obression. Please keep your spritual faith personal anddo not start religious dictatorship. Look around and see the failed Isdlamic states from Iran to ALgeria and Mali. Allah AKber.
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Karim
04-09-2012 03:54am
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there are enough secular failed states too
I`m for the separation of religion and state. But Algeria is not an "islamic" State. In 1992 the Islamist won the the Election but were overthrown by the "almighty " Generals. They have imposed what I call the "algerian scenario" with 20000 deahts Assad is doing the same right now in Syria. Iran and Saudi Arabia are so called islamic States. You got this one right.
George
03-09-2012 09:41pm
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Ph.D. in ignorance
Algeria an Islamist state? Mali? Iran? you seem to have a Ph.D. in ignoorance.
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mokhtar
03-09-2012 05:53pm
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Not balanced at all
Why is it completely Brotherhood dominated? The Brotherhood does not make up a majority in Egypt. If its members only number about 500,000 to 750,000, and there are 80 million Egyptians, you do the math. Why are there only 3 slots for the churches in Egypt, when they make up at least 10% of the population? They should have at least 10 seats, one would think. But I guess the so called "Islamists" that are trying to take over everything would never allow that. This assembly's make-up does not seem fair at all. And I am so sick of the terms Islamist vs. liberal. Self-proclaimed Islamists are acting as thou these "liberals" have no religion or faith which is not the case. Because someone does not believe politics and religion should not mix doesn't mean they are atheists. They may just believe that in a country with different beliefs or different ways of practicing the same religion it will not have a good outcome. Look at Iran. Is this what we want? I am not anti-MB, but i am against one
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Zaki
05-09-2012 08:27am
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To Mokhtar
Why is it completely Brotherhood dominated? Because Brotherhood do make up a majority in Egypt. They won more than 50% of the votes. Dont you know or are you sleeping, over 500,000 to 750,000 are only the part of the whole team, they have supporters in millions that is why they are elected. kapeesh you bone head Copt.
MPA
04-09-2012 05:08pm
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you sound like "entitledment' whiners in the USA
Why should there be a quota in any Parliament, Government etc.? So what if you are 10% of some group, you shouldn't expect to be given something in proportionate to your size. You need to go earn it by voting and gaining voters. Democracy is not about quotas or "saved seats", that is preposterous and it is Amazing that you think that it is proper?
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Dina
03-09-2012 05:44pm
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Illegitimate
First of all, this current constituent assembly is not even legitimate in all reality. If the Parliament was dissolved and deemed invalid because the Brotherhood and other people cheated (which the did) and ran people from parties in independent slots, then the assembly, which was not chosen by the people, but from this Parliament should also be invalidated. Parliament should have not even had the right to chose the assembly; this is in violation of a separation of legislative and executive branches of government. This is why a constitution composed of qualified people from all factions of Egyptian society should have been chosen to write a constitution before any elections. Now they are rushing through the process, trying to finish before the court decides they are not legal. Same thing for Shura council, which in my opinion there is no need for. The courts need to hurry up and deem both of them invalid so we can start over.
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Hector M.
05-09-2012 08:37am
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To Dina
Dina you should know that this current constituent assembly is very legitimate in all reality. The Parliament was dissolved on behest of US by invalid authority SCAF which is gone now.Brotherhood and other majority supported parties won fair and square. The Democratic election is not a quota system, it is one person one vote. It was Pharoah Mubarak whom you Copts whole heartedly supported for 30 years has spoiled you. So be nice and start facing reality majority will rule as per democratic norm. You have to earn living now, no body will give you charity like in the past.
Hector M.
05-09-2012 08:30am
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To Dina
Dina to your questions.
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Ez-Eldeen
03-09-2012 03:16pm
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Fasion Police
Religious fanatics will start to control people, shutdown tourism, tell people what to do, close scientific institutions, control art and freedom of thoughts, end womenequality in Islam,. In other wards, they play Allah role. It is blasmophy to act like Allah and interfer in his judgment. We are given freedom of choice and Laah is the supreme judge. Demons.
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MPA
04-09-2012 05:11pm
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Give me a break
You need to specify if you are talking about the government or private groups? If you are saying the government will shove Sharia down your throats, you are just creating a bogey man out of nothing. That means no matter what the Government does or doesn't do, you will always be bigoted about their actions. As for any private groups roaming the streets enforcing religous norms? Get over it. It happens in every country.
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Aladdin
03-09-2012 02:47pm
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More to Come
Brotherhood will abdicate women rights given to them by Islam, destroy the economy by their simplistic concepts, shutdown educational and scientific instititution, threaten people in life and after death, and drak Egypt to Dark Ags. Allah AKber.
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Hector M.
05-09-2012 08:21am
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To Aladin
Aladin, you just try your magic lamp, and you Copts will be fine. MB will not abdicate women rights, they should abdicate your rights to speak lies, and spread rumors, and falsehood. You Copts are itching as your protector Pharoah Mubarak is gone for good, and you could not elect Shafiq another traitor like you. Take a hike and live withreality.
sam
03-09-2012 09:44pm
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Islam means light
It was the Church that took Europe to darkness. Islam took Muslims ti light.
sheriff
03-09-2012 05:00pm
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undemocratic liberals!
These liberals are funny people. They are copycats who have no values of their own, constantly trying to ape the europeans and other westerners. Of course, they are too weak and have no real broed support among the people of the middle East. Their ideas can only thrive in the middle east by regimes forcing secularism and apostacy on the population: like the SCAf, Ataturk and the other Assad-types. Now that they,ve lost the elections and are thoroughly rejected by the population, they should shut their mouths and await election time. Let them write the constitution; afterall they have a chance to reject it through the vote!! I would have thought that was fair enough?!These people should be ashamed of themselves. The two quotes above show these faithless few are getting more desperate: their forced hegemony on society is going down the drain!!

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