What would be the the Official State religion in Egypt’s new constitution?

September 15, 2013 8:29 pm

Qatar Chronicle - Egyptian constitution

According to Ahram Online, the new Egyptian constitution is most likely to accept Islamic Law as the principal source of legislation, although this is currently a hot topic of discussion among the members of the 50 member committee responsible for drafting the new constitution.

The inference was drawn from comments made by spokesperson of the new constitution drafting committee Mr. Mohamed Selmawi. This acceptance of Islamic Law as the official state religion is contained in Article 2 of the current constitution.

The Article, first accepted along with the 1971 constitution, states that ”Islam is the religion of the state and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.”

While some members of the committee have called for an amendment to the article including the acceptance principles of other monotheistic faiths as well.

The committee is expected to product the final draft of the constitution within 2 months time and it would be put to a national referendum vote before being accepted.

Members have also demanded amendments to Article 219 of the erstwhile constitution, which states that ”The principles of Islamic Sharia include its commonly accepted interpretations, its fundamental and jurisprudential rules and it’s widely considered sources, as stated by the schools of Sunna and Gamaa.”.

Reformers believe this article is discriminatory to the non-Sunni minorities in the region.

The two articles have been stirring quite the controversy among the drafters of the constitution, although it is unlikely that any changes would be made to either.


About the Author

Ahmad Diyari Kaashif is a Senior Journalist and Head of the International Bureau at Qatar Chronicle.After studying Russian at the University of Central Florida.He researched political movements in the former Soviet Union for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, while studying for a master’s degree in international relations at George Washington University.

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