Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Insistence on Shariah raises uncomfortable questions about separation of church, state

Since the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year, Egypt has grappled with forging ahead with a new government and new constitution that will serve all Egyptians, regardless of creed or religion. There are fears that the nation's Muslim majority will insist on a new constitution based on Shariah law, a super-strict interpretation of Islam that metes out harsh justice for the simplest infractions.

Over 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated last week in downtown Cairo to demand that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law.

Over 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated last week in downtown Cairo to demand that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Egypt. Shariah law, constitution, conservatives


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Under Mubarak, Egypt enjoyed a relatively lenient life due to that government's open interpretation of Muslim law. Controversy now surrounds the new constitution on account of the wording of the second amendment. In the former constitution, the wording stated that the "principles of Islamic Shariah" are the basis of legislation. Liberals favor this interpretation as it refers to the broad ideas of Islam.

However, Egyptian ultraconservatives, such as the Muslim Bortherhood are supporting a more strict application of the law. They want the wording changed to state that the basis of law will be "the rulings of Shariah." This implies that Egypt's laws could be left to the interpretation of religious scholars.
   
In response, over 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated last week in downtown Cairo to demand that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law.

While the departure of Mubarak has ushered in the rise of formerly repressed Islamists to power, many Islamists are not in agreement over the interpretation of Shariah and its place in the constitution.

Conservatives want 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 Islamist group from which the country's new President Mohammed Morsi hails.

Protestors have chanted "Shariah is our constitution," and, "The people demand the application of God's law."

In the meantime, the current 100-member Egyptian assembly has just a handful of women, some of them from the Brotherhood, and eight Christians. It is the second constitutional assembly to be formed. The first body was dissolved earlier this year by court order after liberals and seculars walked out over complaints that Islamists were trying to dominate the process.

The liberals on the panel are once again threatening to walk out. Egypt's new Coptic pope, Tawadros II, said this week that the constitution will not be acceptable if it is overtly religious. Courts are also currently reviewing lawsuits calling for the assembly to be disbanded for a second time.

Panel members say they plan to put the charter to a nationwide referendum before the end of the year.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Africa

Triumph in the midst of chaos: Survivors of Ebola in Liberia Ebola now viewed as part of cure Watch

Image of A supply of a new serum may not meet demand. Extreme care must be taken to avoid infecting Ebola victims with other diseases such as HIV or hepatitis.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once shunned and feared, Ebola survivors in Liberia are now seen as an important part of the fight against the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa. Once rejected by their communities, survivors are now coveted for the antibodies ... continue reading


Tunisian police fighting terrorist group Ansar Charia claims life of officer Watch

Image of Security forces have seen heavy losses during violent incidents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Street battles continue to rage between Tunisian police and the terrorist group Ansar Charia. There has been an increase in violence between armed forces and Islamic armed groups ever since the toppling of President Benali. These ongoing clashes have now ... continue reading


Islamists abduct 25 Nigerian girls after ceasefire Watch

Image of Nigerians protest the ongoing abduction of girls by the Islamic Boko Haram terrorist group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, has abducted another 25 girls from a remote town in the country's northeast, despite ongoing talks between the group and the government over securing the release of over 200 other hostages the group had seized back in ... continue reading


At least ten people injured in Cairo explosion Watch

Image of The attack targeted security forces, which are frequently in large numbers in front of schools.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

At least ten people, including six policemen were injured at an explosion in front of Egypt's Cairo University this week. Unrest continue to roil in this North African nation, where intensively trained terrorist groups from neighboring Libya have worked to ... continue reading


From the infected could come life! Blood from recovered Ebola patients could hold key to stopping outbreak Watch

Image of A potential serum from the blood of infected and recovered Ebola patients could provide the key to halting the ongoing outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new tool in the fight against Ebola could come from those who have been infected with the disease and lived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The World Health Organization (WHO) says that serums made from blood of recovered Ebola patients may be available within ... continue reading


New documentary reveals King Tut had a club foot and other startling discoveries Watch

Image of More than 100 walking sticks were found inside his tomb. While historians originally thought they represented his power, it's now more likely that Tut used them to get around.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

King Tutankhamun, or as he is more commonly know, "King Tut" was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who ruled over much of the civilized world until his untimely death at the age of 19 years of age. Researchers in a new British television documentary have conducted a ... continue reading


Programs help young women in Kenya flee prostitution Watch

Image of Poverty forces many young women in Kenya into lives of prostitution.

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The alcohol lining the 12-year-old Kenyan girl's stomach did nothing to quell her hunger pangs. NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - So when one of her mother's drunken customers, in the one-room drinking den that doubles as their home in Nairobi, offered her a ... continue reading


Algerian-Libyan border under lockdown due to deteriorating situation in Benghazi Watch

Image of Algeria has since taken serious measures to reinforce the country's security.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The deteriorating situation in Libya - in particular in the eastern city of Benghazi, has the Algerian people calling for more protection along the borders it shares with that nation. The Algerian government has decided to deploy important methods to enhance ... continue reading


Fierce fighting rages in Benghazi amid political instability Watch

Image of Analysts say the recent surge in violence in Libya could jeopardize dialogue initiated in late September by the United Nations, in order to stop the violence and institutional anarchy in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fierce fighting between troops loyal to the retired general, Khalifa Haftar and those loyal to Ansar Charia continues to rage on in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. The city has been one of the most troubled areas of this North African oil rich country. The ... continue reading


Liberian bishop reminds world that the poor must not be forgotten during Ebola crisis Watch

Image of Alluding to Pope Francis's repeated emphasis on mercy and service to the poor, Bishop Borwah said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Anthony Fallah Borwah of Gbarnga in Liberia says that the world that "it is the poor who are the Church's priority." Ebola, which has ravaged this West African nation is chiefly concentrated among those living in poverty. "Whole families are being ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 22:20-26
20 'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2014 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter