web analytics
July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Constitutional Confusion and Contusions in Egypt

The constitution, as important as it may be, is not a cure for the genetic illnesses of the states of the Middle East.
Egypt’s constitution committee meeting back in November.

Egypt’s constitution committee meeting back in November.

The fifth article has a general statement that is acceptable to everyone: “Sovereignty belongs to the people, who act accordingly, and defend it; the people preserves its patriotic unity, and is the source of authority, as is annotated in the constitution.”

The sixth article, on the other hand, is full of potentially explosive material: “The political system is built on principles of democracy and dialogue, equality of citizenship for all citizens, with equal rights and civic responsibilities, pluralism for political views and parties, orderly transfer of power, division and balance of powers, sovereignty of the law and honoring human rights and freedoms. All of this as annotated in the constitution. It is illegal for a party to be founded on the basis of discrimination between citizens, because of differences in gender, ethnicity or religion.”

The many problems in this clause relate to Islam: “Dialogue” – in Arabic “Shura” – stems from the statement in the Qur’an (Sura 42, Verse 38) that “the kingdom of the Almighty is dialogue among people,” a sort of “the voice of the masses is like the voice of G-d” in Judaism. This sort of pronouncement angers the secular people. The expression “citizenship is equal for all citizens” means that a Muslim is equal to a Christian, and this angers the religious. The “division of authorities” is not acceptable to the religious either, because the Creator of the world is the law-maker, He is the executive and He is the judge, so how is it possible to divide the powers into three different, separate authorities, which may disagree with each other?

The prohibition in this clause “to establish a political party on the basis of discrimination between citizens because of differences in religion” creates a potential threat to the Salafi parties, who therefore see it as a tool that the Muslim Brotherhood will use to close down the Salafi parties, which nibble at the support of the Brotherhood.

Article 10 touches on family matters: “The family is the basis of society, and it is founded on religion, morality and nationalism. The state and the society will adhere strictly to the original character of the Egyptian family…” The statement saying that the family is based on religion is interpreted by secular groups as a prohibition on civil marriages, which are common today in the cities of Egypt, and a prohibition of relations between men and women outside the framework of the traditional family. The secular people see this clause as severe religious coercion of the individual.

The religious character of the constitution is evident in article 11 as well: “The state will monitor morality, appropriateness of behavior, and public order, it will assure a high level of education, religious and patriotic values, respect scientific facts and preserve Arab culture and the historical and cultural legacy of the people…” The state monitoring of morality is perceived by the secular people as the” modesty police,” which will punish adult men and women for behavior that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood view as immoral.

State monitoring of “scientific facts” is seen as an Islamic threat to scientific research, because Islam does not accept such theories as Darwinism, does not agree to many historical statements such as – for example – that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jews, and especially does not accept scientific analysis of the Qur’an and the hadith, the oral tradition of Islam.

On the other hand, Salafis see the remnants of Pharaonic culture that are located throughout public areas and in museums in Egypt as something that is totally negative, because the Pharaohs were infidels and idol worshipers, so if the state oversees the “historical and cultural legacy of the people” and preserves it, it actually would be acting against Islam.

Article 24 deals with education: “Religious education and Egyptian history are two basic subjects that will be included in the educational system of all types, and until university.” Religious education? For secular students?

Later in the constitution, in Chapter 3, the authorities of the president are spelled out. One of them is “The president of the republic, with the agreement of the government, will declare an emergency situation only in the way that the law prescribes.” Since the president controls the government, this clause grants him authority, in effect exclusive authority, to declare a national emergency, in which the civil rights of individuals, groups and political parties will be cancelled, and the president will actually have the ability to shut down free political life and turn himself into a dictator, all with the sanction of law.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Constitutional Confusion and Contusions in Egypt”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Graffiti found on a building in the village of Duma.
Arab Infant Killed in Arson ‘Price Tag’ Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

More Articles from Dr. Mordechai Kedar
JIhadi John executing dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist he beheaded last summer.

The Islamic State has started a fashion trend among Middle East jihadists; beheading is rapidly becoming the murder method of choice.

The 5,829 Bedouin women listed as eligible for single mother benefits in the Negev, raising 23,855 children, are actually silent polygamous wives.

To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.

Western countries ignore the rights of Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West.

What is the cause of the Shi’ite-Sunni conflict?

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch.

This past month several dozens of jihad organizations operating in Syria came to the conclusion that the disagreements among them harm their fighting cause and strengthen Asad.

Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan Speech was not an attempt to emulate Obama by spreading false hope of an agreement with the Iranians.

Israel has not really convinced the world that Iran is a danger.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/constitutional-confusion-and-contusions-in-egypt/2012/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: