Nour Party : Removing article 219 from Constitution breaches road map

Wednesday 21 Aug 2013

The official spokesperson of Nour Salafist party warns that the removal of article 219 from constitution threatens the Islamic identity of Egypt

Sherif Taha, the official spokesperson of Al Nour Salafist Party stated that removing article 219 from the 2012 constitution is considered a breach of the political road map agreed upon by different political groups last month.

In press statement on Wednesday, Taha condemned the 10 members of the technical committee, who were assigned by the interim president to amend the Constitution, for proposing the deletion of article 219,  saying that the article was already endorsed by Al Azhar itself and not just the Islamist parties.

"Deleting this article will make many feel that what happened on 30 June was a move against the Islamic identity of Egypt, the thing which nobody wants." 

Article 219 from the 2012 constitution stipulates that the principles of Islamic sharia include general evidence, the foundational principles of Islamic jurisprudence, the reliable sources from among the Sunni schools of thought.

Taha said that article 219 was an explanatory article to interpret article 2 of the 1971 Constitution.

Article 2 of the Constitution says that Islam is the state’s religion, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic sharia form the main source of legislation.

Article 219 caused controversy as many human rights activists deemed it discriminatory against non-Sunni religious minorites.

"The case of Egypt's Islamic identity is not the cause of a certain party, but it is the cause of the Egyptian people and there is no disagreement regarding it," Taha said.

The Nour Salafist party, the political arm of the Salafist Call movement, was the only Islamist party to agree on the road map adopted by anti-Brotherhood forces and the Egyptian army after the ousting of President Morsi in early July 2013.

The amended draft of the Constitution will be announced either Thursday or next Saturday. A 50-member committee will discuss it afterwards before it is put to a public referendum. 

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