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December 12, 2013 11:38 pm

Sharia Law Less Prominent, But Still in Egypt’s Draft Constitution

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General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgEgypt’s new draft constitution, to be voted on in a national referendum in January, de-emphasizes Sharia law when compared to the 2012 Islamist-backed constitution, but mentions of Sharia are not completely removed.

The draft constitution eliminates the 2012 Muslim Brotherhood constitution’s Article 219, which defined aspects of Sharia law on which legislation could be based. Article 219 and other aspects of the 2012 constitution led many liberal and Christian leaders to boycott the Muslim Brotherhood government, culminating in popular protests and the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Nevertheless, remaining in the new draft constitution is Article 2, which states that the principles of Sharia “the main source of legislation.”

“The infamous Article 2, declaring the principles of Sharia to be the primary source for legislation, is still there like a sword drawn and can be used against non-Muslims at any time and in any situation,” Halim Meawad—co-founder of Coptic Solidarity, a U.S.-based international Coptic Christian human rights organization—told JNS.org.

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