Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/12/2012 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Africa

Red Cross report: You won't believe what Boko Haram is doing now Watch

Image of While many African nations have joined an international military force to fight Boko Haram, the Islamist group is far from defeat and still extremely dangerous.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The war against the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed a new front line, centering on the city of Diffa on the Nigerian border. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The city's population continues to suffer under the Islamist group's draconian rules, and ... continue reading


American missionary kidnapped from Christian school in Africa Watch

Image of Reverend Phyllis Sortor had been working as a missionary in Africa for the past decade.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An American Christian missionary in central Nigeria was kidnapped from Hope Academy, according to the website of the Free Methodist Church. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Early this morning we received a report that Reverend Phyllis Sortor, our missionary in ... continue reading


7-year-old child suicide bomber kills seven in Nigeria Watch

Image of Suspicious security guards said they tried to prevent the girl from entering the market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A girl thought to be as young as seven years of age  killed herself and seven others in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria. The bombing in Potiskum last Sunday was the second suicide attack in or near the market where new and second-hand phones are ... continue reading


Coptic Christian refugee route, Tunisia, not as secure as it appears Watch

Image of Tunisia has seen an upturn in the number of radical Islamists since the growth of the Islamic State and the Arab Spring.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Insecurity and fear is back in Tunisia, which had thus far managed to avoid severe violence despite neighboring war-torn Libya, following a terrorist attack which killed four Tunisian soldiers between the night of February 17 and morning of the 18th. ALGIERS, ... continue reading


More cell phones than flush toilets -- Mobile phones reshaping African cultures Watch

Image of Mobile usage in Africa increases twice as fast as the global average.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In this very moment, you're using the internet. Are you on a computer? If you're living in an African Country, chances are you've never even seen a computer and can only browse using a mobile device. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, 70 percent of ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW BOOK says AIDS began in Africa at run of century - not 1980s Watch

Image of David Quammen's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If a new historical treatise is accurate, AIDS/HIV, associated mostly with homosexual men, did not begin in the metropolitan climes of New York City and Paris in the 1980s, but in the Cameroonian jungles of Africa at the turn of the century. David Quammen's ... continue reading


Hate vs. Hate: Racist ISIS may not let Boko Haram join forces with them Watch

Image of ISIS and Boko Haram differ in many ways. While both use social media, the ISIS campaign is far more sophisticated in utilizing more than 20 languages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The irony is totally lost to them - the hate-fueled Islamist State, persecuting Christians, fellow Muslims, Coptics and many others, may disallow the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram from joining forces with them. "The Arab world is incredibly racist," ... continue reading


UP to a QUARTER MILLION Christian Nigerians at risk of mass slaying at hands of Boko Haram Watch

Image of A successful attack in Maiduguri would provide Boko Haram with a launching point for further attacks on the neighboring states of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The militant Islamist group Boko Haram forces seems poised to attack Maiduguri, a city of two million in northeast Nigeria. This puts at least 200,000 Nigerian Christians at risk of slaughter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "An attack on Madiguri is very ... continue reading


What happened to the 270 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram? Watch

Image of The whereabouts of the remaining 219 missing Chibok girls remains typically unknown.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram kidnapped 270 girls 10 months ago. Snatched from the Chibok boarding school in Nigeria, the missing reports of these young girls caused a widespread international protest and demand for the girls to be brought back home. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


ISIS IS COMING TO EUROPE: Coptic massacre in Libya brings terror group closer to West Watch

Image of Relatives of the slaughtered Copts on a Libyan beach try to make sense of this empty, brutal act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The massacre of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya by Islamist State has brought the dreaded terrorist group to Europe's door. Leaders feared that the group would shortly make inroads into the Mediterranean. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ISIS begun its ... 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, Ezekiel 18:21-28
21 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26
20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 27th, 2015 Image

St. Leander of Seville
February 27: St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast - February 27th) Leander ... 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