New constitution paves the way for Islamic ‘church’ versus state | Egypt Independent

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  • the most recent version of the Constituent Assembly’s chapter on public rights, liberties, and duties, published on the assembly’s official website
  • The Constituent Assembly has planted several mines in the draft constitution that will explode in all our faces, threatening to exacerbate and renew sectarian tensions. They have planted the seeds of a religious state in democratic guise and use citizenship in the constitution as a cover for religious discrimination. This concept of citizenship is not based on full equality, but it places some citizens above others depending on what is written in the slot for religion on official identity documents.
  • “Freedom of belief and the exercise of religious rites are protected and the state upholds the freedom to establish houses of worship for the exercise of rites of the monotheistic religions, as elaborated in the law and in a way that does not violate the public order.”
  • Press coverage of the chapter on the basic components of the state reports that Al-Azhar has become the final interpreter of Islamic Sharia in accordance with Sunni Islam. The intention to adopt this stipulation in the constitution has been confirmed by statements of several members of the Constituent Assembly as well as leaders of the venerable Islamic religious institution.
  • These constitutional provisions will place the religious establishment, which is still not free of executive intervention, above the elected parliament and create a type of clergy that is alien to Islam.
  • political Islamists, in response to criticism from secularists, have repeated over decades that Islam does not recognize theocracy, claiming that the conflict that erupted centuries ago between the church and state in Europe could not happen in an Islamic state. But it seems they are now sowing the seeds of just such a conflict in the draft constitution, which is expected to be put to a public referendum in a few weeks.

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via Edwebb’s Favorite Links on Egypt from Diigo http://www.egyptindependent.com/opinion/new-constitution-paves-way-islamic-‘church-versus-state

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