63. A new analysis of the constitutional reform

Article summary: 

The article criticizes the second article of the Constitution which states “Islam is the religion of the state, and the principles of the Islamic Sharī‘ah are the main source of legislation.” He calls for dialogue on the level of the public to discuss it and not wholly depend on politicians alone.

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Throughout the time that President Mubārak’s proposed constitutional amendments are being discussed, the second article of the Constitution that acknowledges Islam as the religion of Egypt and the main source of legislation has frequently been criticized. Opponents regard its wording as enough to divide the one people into wrangled groups, Darwīsh says.

The Founder of Miṣr al-Umm Party [Egypt is the mother], Lawyer Sāmī Harak, says a person can have a religion, i.e. a relation between man and God, but questions how a moral entity such as the state could have a religion. “Such an article contradicts logic and reduces the spiritual effects of religion,” he adds.

The author praises the Ministry of Culture for holding a seminar, in which all intellectual trends in society participated, to discuss the proposed amendments. Participants called to support the principles of a civil state and citizenship, and to leave issues of religion and faith to people rather than the state. Before this article was added to the Constitution in 1971, Egypt had never witnessed terrorism, sectarian clashes, or the Ḥijāb, says Darwīsh.
He urges to continue holding political dialogues and to not depend on Parliament which has been ostracized from political life since the iron grasp of the ruling National Democratic Party [NDP].

The author moves on to criticize the NDP, considering it politically disqualified because it was established by late President Anwar al-Sādāt rather than through real public demand. As al-Sādāt established the NDP, millions of greedy beneficiaries hurried to join the fledgling party to gain any benefits it may offer.

Darwīsh then calls on Mubārak to end the connection with religion, meaning mixing religion with politics, which has always provided a safe haven for suspicious political Islam groups.

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