Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drafts Of Proposed Egyptian Constitution Released

According to Ahram Online, two separate drafts of a proposed constitution for Egypt have been released during the last week.  The drafts, while criticized from various sides, do reflect compromises on some issues worked out between secularists and Salafists. The full text of "Part I, State and Society" as reflected in the most recently released draft has been published in English translation by Daily News Egypt. Among the proposed provisions are the following:
Article 2
Islam is the state religion, its official language Arabic, and the principles of Islamic Shari’a are the main source of legislation.
Article 3
For Egyptian Christians and Jews, the principles of their religious laws are the main source of legislation in personal and religious matters as well as in the selection of their spiritual leaders.
Article 4
Al-Azhar is an independent Islamic body and it alone addresses its internal affairs. Its scope covers the Muslim nation and the entire world. It spreads religious studies and the call to Islam. The state guarantees sufficient funds for it to achieve its goals. The law determines the method for selecting Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, who shall be independent and cannot be removed from office.
The opinion of Al-Azhar’s Council of Grand Scholars shall be taken in matters related to Islamic Shari’a.....
 Article 10
The state is obliged to sponsor and protect ethics and public morals, empower authentic Egyptian traditions, take into account a high level of nurturing, religious and patriotic values, scientific facts, Arab culture, the historical and cultural heritage of the people, as regulated by the law....
Article 24
The state is obliged to revive and encourage the religious endowments system.
The law regulates religious endowments, determines the procedures for founding and managing them, investing them, and distributing their returns on beneficiaries as per the terms of the endowers.