Islam’s status unchanged in Egypt draft constitution



Reuters

Published — Friday 30 November 2012

Last update 1 December 2012 3:15 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

CAIRO: An assembly drafting Egypt's new constitution voted yesterday to keep the principles of Islamic law as the main source of legislation, unchanged from the previous constitution in force under former President Hosni Mubarak.
The issue was the subject of a long dispute between Salafis and liberals in the assembly which will vote on each of 234 articles in the draft constitution before it is sent to President Muhammad Mursi for approval.
After that, Mursi must put it to a popular referendum.
The Muslim Brotherhood hopes that quick approval of the constitution will help end a crisis ignited by a decree that expanded his powers.
While Article Two of the constitution — describing the source of legislation — stays the same, the constitution includes new provisions explaining what is meant by "the principles" of Shariah.
The assembly also approved a new article that states that Al-Azhar, a seat of Islamic learning, must be consulted on "matters related to Shariah."
The final draft makes historic changes to Egypt's system of government. For example, it sets a limit on the number of terms a president may serve to two. Mubarak stayed in power for three decades.
It also introduces a degree of civilian oversight over the powerful military establishment, although not enough for some critics of the document.
TV footage showed members being asked to sit down in the senate building, where the panel has met for more than over five months, to prepare for the procedure.
The vote comes amid accusations the panel is railroading the charter and as protests mount over Mursi's assumption of sweeping powers, which has plunged the country into its worse crisis since he took office in June.
The head of the panel, Hossam Al-Gheriani, urged the liberal, leftist and Coptic Christian members who walked out to "come back and finish the discussion."
Human rights groups have criticized the move to rush through the constitution. "This is not a healthy moment to be pushing through a constitution because this is an extremely divisive moment," Human Rights Watch Egypt director Heba Morayef said.
"Human rights groups have very serious concerns about some of the rights protections in the latest drafts we've seen," she said.
Mursi and his supporters argue that delaying the constitution, which would be followed by parliamentary elections to replace the house dissolved by a court earlier this year, would delay democratic transition.
The sweeping powers of Mursi will expire once a constitution is ratified in a referendum.
The president insisted in a magazine interview on Wednesday that he will surrender his controversial new powers once a new constitution is in place, hoping to assuage the growing anger two years after a democratic uprising overthrew Mubarak.
"If we had a constitution, then all of what I have said or done last week will stop," he told Time magazine. "I hope, when we have a constitution, what I have issued will stop immediately," he added.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman briefed the Cabinet, on Monday, about the message he sent to the Kuwaiti emir and the messages he received from the Moroccan king and the Qatari emir.The king also spoke about the outcome of his m...
RIYADH: The Eastern Mediterranean Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced that the region is considered a Zika virus-free zone.Dr. Alaa Alwan, the regional director of EMRO, said that it does not mean that Middle East...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Council is working to establish an electronic system to prevent manipulation of sick leave holidays.Dr. Yaqoob Al-Mazrouh, secretary-general of the council, disclosed this during a seminar on Sunday. He did not elaborate on h...
RIYADH: Specialized Clinics Arabia (SCA) treated a total of 9,220 Syrians at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan during the month of January 2016, according to Dr. Hamid Mufalana, SCA medical director.“Many of the patients were children who were given...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah police have solved the mystery surrounding the thrashing of a man by another, the video clip of which had gone viral.It was a Herculean task for the police to search for the victim, who had not bothered to lodge any complaint. The...
JEDDAH: The Cutoms Department at Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 64,165 Captagon pills found hidden in four boxes.Saad Al-Buqami, director-general of Customs at the Airport, said: “During our c...
AL-AHSA: Plans are afoot to turn the Al-Ahsa dates festival into an international event by adopting top standards in the manufacture, packaging and marketing of the product, Adel Al-Mulhim, the general supervisor of the festival, has said.Speaking du...
RIYADH: A gang comprising two women and youth has been arrested for allegedly looting cash from pharmacies and snatching women’s handbags in malls.Col. Fawaz bin Jameel Al-Maiman, police media spokesman of the Riyadh region, said the arrests were mad...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar on Sunday called for conservation of water and electricity, even as the Water and Electricity minister said Saudi Arabia will need an investment of SR500 billion for power projects over the next 10 years t...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 people accused of various crimes were investigated by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) in the financial year of 1435-1436 A.H.Among the 218,000 who were investigated, around 30 percent or 65,000 were...
RIYADH: Thousands of Saudis have visited the German pavilion at the Janadriyah festival since it was opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman last week, in the presence of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Amba...
DAMMAM: The cold wave in many parts of the Kingdom over the last week caused a decline of between 30 percent and 50 percent in farm production. This decline in turn drove prices of agricultural products at wholesale markets up by 30 percent.Farmers s...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry warned on Monday that heating devices should have a voltage of 220 volts with a capacity not exceeding 2,500 watts.The announcement was made when MCI inspectors seized more than 3,000 substandard heating...
ALKHOBAR: Nearly 100 leading figures in the government and private institutions have completed training programs specializing in integrity and anti-corruption provided by the Saafah Foundation for Good Example in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.The secre...
JEDDAH: Iraqi authorities executed in Baghdad on Sunday a Saudi prisoner, Abdullah Azam Al-Qahtani, 35, on charges described by his family as fabricated.Al-Qahtani had spent almost 13 years in the Iraqi prisons.Rumors about the execution of Al-Qahtan...

Stay Connected

Facebook