Egypt rally demands Islamic rule

Updated 10 November 2012
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Egypt rally demands Islamic rule

CAIRO: Thousands of hard-liners demonstrated in Cairo yesterday to demand that Shariah, or Islamic law, be the basis for legislation in a new constitution being drafted for Egypt.
Several thousand people rallied in Tahrir Square for the second consecutive Friday to vent their demands.
“The people want implementation of God’s law!” they chanted.
“The Qur’an is above the constitution,” read a placard strung across the emblematic Cairo landmark that was the cradle of the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak from power.
“Bread, freedom, Shariah,” said another sign, with the word Shariah replacing a call for “social reform” central to last year’s uprising.
The main Al-Nur Salafist party and the influential Muslim Brotherhood, from whose ranks Mubarak’s successor Muhammad Mursi comes, said they would not take part in the protest, organized by smaller radical groups.
Liberals, secularists and the Coptic church, whose minority community has become increasingly fearful of the rise of radicals to power in Egypt, reject this stance.
“A constitution that hints at imposing a religious state in Egypt is absolutely rejected,” Egypt’s new Coptic Pope Tawadros II said on Monday, a day after he was chosen, the independent Al-Watan said.
President Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has pledged that the new constitution would make reference to Shariah, but in terminology suggesting a compromise.


Palestinian FM to press ICC on war crimes probe

Updated 35 min 5 sec ago
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Palestinian FM to press ICC on war crimes probe

THE HAGUE: Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki was to arrive in The Netherlands later Monday ahead of talks with the chief prosecutor of the world's only permanent war crimes court.
Maliki will meet with prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday morning just over a week after 62 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire as they protested the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.
Maliki will update Bensouda on the situation in the Palestinian territories and also "submit a referral" on the issue of Jewish settlements during their talks at the International Criminal Court ICC), the Palestinian embassy in The Hague said in a statement.
Afterwards, Maliki will hold a press conference outside the court. He will also meet later Tuesday with Dutch counterpart Stef Blok.
Bensouda vowed last week that she was watching the unrest in Gaza closely and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes.
"My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within" the tribunal's jurisdiction, she warned in a statement to AFP.
"The violence must stop," she insisted, urging "all those concerned to refrain from further escalating this situation and the Israel Defence Forces to avoid excessive use of force."
The Palestinian Authority joined the ICC in January 2015 signing up to the Rome Statute which underpins the world's only permanent war crimes court.
The Palestinians asked the prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes committed in the Palestinian territories in the Gaza war the previous year, and Bensouda opened her inquiry just a few days later.
The preliminary examination which comes ahead of a full-blown investigation continues.