Egypt cuts Christians, liberals out of constitution
Eygpt becoming increasingly divided as democracy teeters.
More disturbing developments in Egypt today as that country's Islamists hurriedly approved a draft constitution in a manner that systematically cut out Christians and liberals from the process. The panel rushed to approve their draft before a Supreme Court ruling could dissolve their assembly.
Passage of the draft constitution has sparked protests across Egypt from those who say they have been left out.
Morsi has stirred protest by recently decreeing that is decisions would be beyond judicial review. Egyptians have been protesting this development because they fear Morsi could install himself as a dictator.
However, Morsi has promised that he would abandon that decree once a new constitution was accepted.
The assembly responsible for drafting the constitution passed the draft version in a rushed 16-hour session that included four women, all Islamists themselves, and no Christians despite Egypt's substantial Christian population. The 85-member assembly has been described by many as "very conservative."
For weeks prior, Christians and liberals have been resigning from the assembly in protest over what they say has been systematic discrimination. Conversely, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the dominant political party in Egypt, is hailing the draft as representative.
The vote on the draft constitution was not set to occur for another two months, however the secular and traditionally liberal Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court was poised to dissolve the assembly before that time. By passing the draft to the people for referendum, the assembly has pre-empted the court.
The end result is that Egypt is becoming bitterly divided, and the steps that are being taken are not towards reconciliation, but rather towards further discord. With Islamists making the majority of the national population, it is likely that their agenda will be promoted at the expense of all others, setting the framework for discord in what should have been a fledgling example of democracy for the world to see.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Egypt, constitution, Christians, liberals, Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamists
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