12. The jurist’s turban and the politician’s coat

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Article summary: 

The author says that the inclusion of items related to religion in the Constitution is a useless and problematic issue as religion is a private individual right and unrelated to the community.

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During the French Revolution the Catholic Church was, financially speaking, the strongest institution in the country. However, with the state treasury’s bankruptcy, a contradiction between the state’s possessions and the church’s arose, which provoked the avarice of others. The National Assembly decided to give Catholic priests a wage in order to avoid another revolution. However in order to avoid giving Protestants and Jews wages too, the Assembly was forced to declare Catholicism as the official state religion, thereby also declaring Catholic priests as government employees [Reviewer: We were unable to find sources to verify this claim. While it is true that the Catholic Church lost much of its power during the French Revolution as a result of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, no where does it state that they actually became “government employees.” Bishops and priests were forced to sign their allegiance to the new French Constitution, and ironically, Protestants and Jews could also be elected to the position of bishop or priest under the new French regime. Any response from subscribers on this matter would be greatly appreciated.]
This was a unique historical occurrence in which the constitution defined the official state religion. However placing this item in the Egyptian Constitution was no more than a lame imitation because religion is an individual personal right, unrelated to society.
If the intention behind this article is to ensure that the country’s laws are consistent with Islamic Sharī‘ah, who bears the responsibility for ensuring this consistency? Is there an organization capable of fulfilling this function?
The inclusion of items related to religion in the Constitution is not only useless but also problematic, as issues such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance are undoubtedly consistent with Sharī‘ah regardless of their inclusion in the Constitution. There is a conflict amongst religious scientists over whether banks are harām or not. Money is the basis of any economy, and society cannot be productive without banks. Furthermore, all banks essentially perform the same function be they Islamic or not, as banks do not have a religion. Herein lies the contradiction; religious scientists say banks are Ḥarām while at the same time carrying money which is guaranteed by banks. The discrepancy between the two stances is obvious, and so the question arises again: who should be responsible for assuring that the Constitution remains consistent with Sharī‘ah law? And who is capable of doing this job?

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