November 30, 2012
New Egyptian Constitution Approved by Enemies of Freedom
The panel tasked with writing the new Egyptian Constitution has finished its work without any input from Christians or secularists. If I understand the process correctly, the document now goes to the people for a plebiscite vote -- meaning they get to vote "yes" or "no" on the new Constitution.
And the new Constitution? Whereas the former government oppressed the Egyptian people by ignoring the law and Constitution (hey, it's what dictators do), the new government will now oppress the people through the law.
And that law, is Islamic law:
The draft of the charter, meant to determine a new political identity for Egypt after 60 years of rule by authoritarian leaders, has an Islamist bent that rights experts say could lead to a say by Muslim clerics in legislation and restrictions on freedom of speech, women's rights and other liberties....Remember, these are the moderates.
One article that passed underlined that the state will protect "the true nature of the Egyptian family ... and promote its morals and values," phrasing that suggests state control over the contents of such arts forms as books and films. The draft also contains no article specifically establishing equality between men and women because of disputes over the phrasing....
But a new article states that Egypt's most respected Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, must be consulted on any matters related to Shariah, a measure critics fear will lead to oversight of legislation by clerics.
Another one seeks to define "principles" of Islamic law by saying it reflects theological doctrines and tenets. The term "principles" had long been intentionally vague, and specifying its bases could vastly expand the reach of Shariah in influencing society.
The draft also includes bans on "insulting or defaming all prophets and messengers" or even "insulting humans" — broad language that analysts warned could be used to crack down on many forms of speech.
The most vexing thing, I think, is that the new Constitution seems to give al-Azhar University some sort of quasi-judicial oversight. Al-Azhar is considered the most prestigious of Sunni Islam's theological seminaries. Those who run it are considered "moderate" and "mainstream".
But who are these people? Herer's a "scholar" at al-Azhar, Hashem Islam Ali Islam, advocating suicide bombings against Jews in July of this year.