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Osman El Sharnoubi, Thursday 8 Nov 2012
Islamist groups - excluding Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nour Party - to protest at Tahrir Square demanding the inclusion of Sharia as the main source of legislation in Egypt's new constitution
Many Islamist groups announced their intent to participate in scheduled 9 November protest in Tahrir Square to call for the application of Sharia (Islamic law) in Egypt.
The Salafist groups, Al-Gamaa Islamiya and its Building and Development Party and Salafist Front along with its political arm the People Party, will congregate in a planned million-man demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday.
The conservative Islamists groups reject the present formulation of Article 2 of the draft constitution being drawn up by Egypt's Constituent Assembly. The article states that the "principles of Islamic Sharia" are the main source of legislation."
Islamic Sharia and its rulings – not its "principles" – should be the main source of legislation, Ahmed Mawlana, People Party spokesman, told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
Many Salafist Muslims regard the "principles" of Islamic law – which translate into values such as justice, truth, and equality – as too vague and far placed from proper Islamic doctrine, while Sharia encompasses all aspects of life, they argue.
Article 2 should read as, “Islamic Sharia alone is the source of all legislation and all that conflicts it is invalid and corrupt,” said Sheikh Islam. The article should also stipulate that Sharia governs the constitution and laws, he added.
Ahram Online, Wednesday 7 Nov 2012
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called on members and supporters to participate in mass rallies planned for Friday by a number of Islamist parties and groups to demand a constitutional article calling for the application of Islamic Law.
Leading Brotherhood figures in the north-eastern Sharqiya governorate staged a demonstration on Tuesday evening at which they called on the public to participate in the planned rallies.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest Islamist group, distributed flyers calling on Egyptians to participate in the Friday rallies so as to "thwart the attempts" of those aiming to sabotage the work of Egypt's Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, currently in the process of reviewing a draft constitution.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which holds a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly, has issued calls to "protect Egypt's Islamic identity," but the party has not formally objected to the current text of Article 2, leading to a growing rift with its more conservative Islamist counterparts.
The drafting of Egypt's new national charter has been hindered by conflicts between the country's liberal and Islamist camps over the constitutional role of Islamic Law. Several articles in the proposed charter related to the issue have been rejected by liberal forces and human rights advocates.
The fate of the Constituent Assembly itself, meanwhile, is uncertain, as it remains at the centre of a legal battle over the constitutionality – or lack of thereof – of the mechanisms employed to select its members.
On Tuesday, a lawsuit against the constitution-drafting body was referred to Egypt's High Constitutional Court, which, if successful, could lead to the assembly's dissolution.
Proposed constitution will be ready for popular referendum before end of November, says member of Egypt's controversy-dogged Constituent Assembly
A final draft of Egypt's new constitution will be finalised before 19 November, Mohamed Mohieddin, a member of the defence and national security committee within Egypt's Constituent Assembly – tasked with drafting a new national charter – said Thursday.
Mohieddin added that assembly members would vote on the final draft before the end of this month, after which the document would be put before a popular referendum for approval.
He went on to say the assembly's 100 members would begin discussing the draft on Sunday.
Mohieddin's statements come as the assembly faces threats from 30 of its liberal and leftist members to withdraw from the constitution-drafting body to protest what they see as an unrealistically tight deadline by which the assembly is expected to finish its work.
Egypt's ultraconservatives demand Islamic law - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Tens of thousands of protesters crowded Cairo's Tahrir square on 'Sharia Friday' to demand Islamic law to be the primary source of legislation in the coming constitution.
"We demand that Islamic law becomes the source of legislation and warn against any foreign intervention in the writing of the constitution," Tarek El-Zomor, Al-Gamaa Islamiya Leader and founder of its Building and Development Party, told Ahram Online.
He stressed that the constitutional draft currently being written by Egypt's Constituent Assembly must be completed soon.
A strong antagonism against pro-democracy forces or "the Liberals and secularists," as commonly called by Islamists, was evident in the protest.
More than 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims have demonstrated in central Cairo to demand that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law, in the latest tussle over the role of religion in the country's future.
The rally was called for by a number of minority Salafi groups, but neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the main Salafist Al-Nour party backed the protest.
The writing of the constitution has been fraught with controversy since last year's political uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak and ushered in the rise of formerly repressed Islamists to power.
But Islamists themselves are not in agreement over the interpretation of Islamic law and its place in the document.
Demonstrators in Tahrir Square demanded on Friday that the panel tasked with writing the constitution override liberal and secular objections and include language that could see religious scholars influencing legislation.
The panel is led by the Muslim Brotherhood, the powerful group from which the country's new President Mohammed Morsi hails.
"Sharia [Islamic] is our constitution" and "The people demand the application of God's law," protesters chanted.
The controversy surrounding the constitution is centered on the wording of the second amendment.
In the former constitution, the wording stated that the "principles of Islamic Sharia" are the basis of legislation.
This wording is favoured by liberals because they say it meets the broad ideas of Islam.
Conservative Muslims want the wording changed to state that the basis of law will be "the rulings of Sharia," implying Egypt's laws may be left to the interpretation of religious scholars.
The current 100-member assembly has just eight women, some of them from the Brotherhood, and eight Christians.
Looking at the pics, it can be decieving, for no one can count the number off picture, but it was reported that only about 10,000 protestors were there, out of the est 90 millions of free Egyptians.