Egypt constitution committee opposes 'anything Islamic': Salafist Call

Ahram Online, Sunday 22 Sep 2013

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

Yasser El-Borhami
Egyptian Salafist figure Yasser El-Borhami (Photo: Al-Ahram)

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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