The View From a Distance: Egypt’s Contentious New Constitution

Middle East Memo
Date of source:
31 Jan 2013
With violent protests following the second anniversary of the
Egyptian revolution, and calls for a new unified government
amid dire comments about the stability of Egypt, the world’s
attention is again on President Morsi and his country. This
follows a tumultuous period last month, when Egyptians went
to the polls and ratified a new constitution. The document,
criticized as hurried, incomplete, and lacking in consensus is
enormously contentious.
In the Saban Center’s newest Middle East Memo, The View From a
Distance: Egypt’s Contentious New Constitution, nonresident fellow
Mirette F. Mabrouk gives a broad overview of the new constitution,
and provides context and analysis for specific sections.
Mabrouk outlines several ways in which, she argues, the document is shaky on the protection of
freedoms and rights, particularly those of women, some religious minorities and minors. Mabrouk
also encourages analysts to stop viewing this situation as an Islamist/ secular divide, arguing that
idea is too simplistic, and lacks the context for greater understanding of Egypt’s domestic politics.