Religious freedom could lead to devil worship: Salafist leader

Ahram Online, Tuesday 16 Oct 2012

Yasser Borhamy says recently published draft constitution is different to version agreed by Constituent Assembly, religious freedom could lead to devil worship and apostasy

Yasser Burhamy, the leader of the Salafist Call
Yasser Burhamy, the leader of the Salafist Call

The latest draft of the constitution does not reflect what was agreed by the Constituent Assembly, Salafist assembly member Yasser Borhamy said Tuesday.

Several articles that had been agreed upon by the assembly, and others that had been suggested for inclusion, had been removed from the latest draft, Borhamy said via a statement on the Salafist Nour Party's Facebook page.

"We will not compromise on several of the removed articles," Borhamy said, especially those relating to rights and freedoms.

He added that rights and freedoms should only be protected under the constitution if they do not "violate society's norms." He did not elaborate on what those norms were.

He said some freedoms should be restricted to prevent other norms from being violated.

Borhamy further complained that freedom of religious belief, which was left unrestricted by the new draft, might lead to "devil worship or apostasy from Islam."

He said Salafists would hold mass demonstrations if Article 2 of the constitution was not changed. Salafists have been pressing hard for 'Islamic Sharia' to be the main source of legislation in Egypt, rather than the 'principles of Islamic Sharia' as currently stated by the article.

"Those who voted for President Morsi only chose him so he would apply Islamic Sharia," he claimed.

The Constituent Assembly published on Wednesday the first official draft of the constitution for public debate.

The Supreme Administrative Court is scheduled to look into appeals against the assembly on Tuesday.

Several lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the assembly and the mechanism for choosing its members.

The High Constitutional Court already ruled in June against the constitutionality of the People's Assembly (lower house of parliament), which chose the 100 members of the constituent assembly.  

Borhamy is a professional surgeon who began his preaching activities in the 1970s. He contributed to the establishment of the Salafist Call in Egypt and is a member of the movement's six-man Trustees Council.

Short link: