Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

7/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After the sweeping victory of the Tamarod protests (the rebel campaign), Muslim groups and Coptic Christians received a real scare when they first saw the 33-article constitutional declaration. According to news reports, some members of the coalition groups had rejected the declaration.

Adly Mansour, the interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the interim president of Egypt

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Egypt, Muslim, Coptic, Christian, Tamarod, Constitutional Declaration, Adly Mansour, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - After the sweeping victory of the Tamarod protests (the rebel campaign), Muslim groups and Coptic Christians received a real scare when they first saw the 33-article constitutional declaration. According to news reports, some members of the coalition groups had rejected the declaration. One report said the Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic group, called it shocking.

The 33-article declaration was released on Monday, July 8, 2013. It is meant to be the roadmap for Egypt going forward until the new government is in place, hopefully six months from now. But it is not compatible with the ideals of the Tamarod protest as it stands.

One of the main criticisms against the declaration concerns the first article. It states, "that the Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic system based on citizenship, that Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language and the principles of sharia law derived from established Sunni canons are its main source of legislation." Article 1 of the declaration reportedly combines articles 1, 2 and 219 from the suspended 2012 Islamist constitution that Morsi tried to impose on all Egyptians.

Article 2 in the Egyptian Constitution has long been a bone of contention for Coptic Christians, for it discriminates against non-Muslims and women, especially Coptic women. The Copts petitioned for its removal under Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak. It reads as follows: "Islam is the state religion, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic sharia are the main source of legislation."

However, Article 2 was generally interpreted loosely under Mubarak. This was not the case when Morsi became president. Under Morsi, Article 2 was retained and Article 219 was added. The purpose of Article 219 was to tie Article 2 more tightly to Islamic law in terms of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence. This further strengthened sharia law in Egypt.

While Article 1 is probably the main concern of the 33-article declaration released on July 8, there are other concerns as well. The declaration also gives the interim president Adly Mansour a great deal of authority; it retains military trials for civilians; it appears to limit freedom of expression and freedom of association.

Some people believe that the Salafist Nour Party, which is Islamist and came in second after the Muslim Brotherhood during the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, is responsible for this first draft, and that they pressured Mansour during the shaping of the declaration.

However, the interim president indicated that this was not the final draft, and that he would address the collective concerns of the members of the Tamarod coalition and amend the constitutional declaration prior to the final draft, which is expected in a month. It appears that the news reports were premature, but only time will tell for sure.

Liberal and moderate Muslims and Coptic Christians had high hopes two and a half years ago that they would share in the Arab Spring. But thus far the Arab Spring has only benefited Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. It has been an utter failure for Christians, many of whom have suffered increased persecution, even martyrdom.

Premature or not, these latest reports about the constitutional declaration remind us that millions of Muslims and Christians in Egypt want to be free and live in peace. They want a chance for a better life, and they are fed up being lied to, manipulated and oppressed by their leaders in government. I think these determined, brave Egyptian souls are an inspiration for us all, and they give us all hope.

According to some reports, it seems somewhere between 15 and 17 million Egyptians stood up to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. They stood up to a powerful, corrupt organization that grabbed power through the democratic process in order to transform Egypt into an oppressive Islamic theocracy. The Tamarod Protest will go down in history as a reminder to all people that they can do it too.

The Tamarod protest is also a reminder to Americans. The Obama administration is possibly the most corrupt and divisive administration in the history of the United States. We are experts in democracy. We have more legitimate avenues for political dissent than most people have ever dreamed of. If so many brave Egyptian souls can take back their government, then the American people can take back their government too!

Let us pray for a peaceful and successful transition in Egypt. Let us also pray for all those who are being oppressed throughout the world and for freedom and peace in our own countries.
 

 -----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Middle East

Why do Muslims like beheading so much? (WARNING GRAPHIC, RAW IMAGES)

Image of Muslim terrorists prefer beheading as the latest way to grab headlines. Here, a terrorist prepared to saw off the head of American journalist, James Foley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The incredible spate of beheadings which are perpetrated by Islamic militants around the world had many asking the question, "Why do Muslims behead so many people?" In the modern age, there are swift and almost bloodless ways to kill, which makes the use of beheading ... continue reading


Islamic State beheads journalist James Foley (WARNING, GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Image of James Foley a moment before his gruesome beheading.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has beheaded journalist James Foley. You may watch the video here, but be warned, it is graphic. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - American freelance journalist James Foley has been beheaded by the Islamic State. He was 40. Following a statement ... continue reading


How far will they go? Islamic State kills an entire village because one man refused... Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman cries in a refugee camp where most of her surviving people now live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A story has emerged about how the Islamic State killed as many as 600 people because of the defiance of just one elderly man.  The tale shows how far the Islamic State will go to force its beliefs on the rest of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last ... continue reading


WARNING TO WEST: Archeparch of Mosul says Western Christians will soon fall prey to persecution Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The exiled Chaldean Archeparch of Mosul, Amel Nona has some stern words of warning to those in the West, who think that the persecutions of Iraq "can't happen" where they are. "Our sufferings are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will ... continue reading


Wedding rings cut off fingers, bibles burned. Chaldean Catholics Remain Faithful

Image of Chaldean Catholics have lost everything, including their religious artifacts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you have followed the horrifying stories of Christians in Iraq, you know that these peaceful people have been deprived of literally everything. They have not simply lost businesses, homes and cars, but also their money, their personal effects, literally everything ... continue reading


Taking the fight to the Islamic State! Following U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish fighters seize Mosul dam Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State, which has recently suffered a severe setback due to a combined offensive between Iraqi, Kurdish and U.S. forces.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following several days of U.S. airstrikes and battles with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the Islamic State has taken to the web to threaten the U.S. and any other potential threat. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrorist group posted a video on YouTube-which ... continue reading


Gaza cease-fire gains a 1 day extension as Israelis and Palestinians try to make a lasting peace Watch

Image of An Israeli missile explodes in Gaza. Israeli has regulated most of their action to destroying Hamas' arsenal of rockets and secret tunnels.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After nearly a month of off and on violence, Israeli and Palestinian authorities have agreed to extend the current Gaza cease-fire by 24 hours, which will now end at 5 p.m. on August 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israeli and Palestinian officials both ... continue reading


MUCH AT STAKE: Kurdish fighters battle Islamic State for control of strategic Mosul Dam Watch

Image of The U.S. military confirmed a mix of fighter jets and drones carried out nine airstrikes on Saturday near Mosul and the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kurdish fighters, or Peshmerga are currently engaged in a strategic battle with Islamic state fighters over the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq. Peshmerga have fired mortars and explosives at extremist militants this past weekend as the battle to retake the ... continue reading


MASS EXECUTIONS: 3,000 women and girls kidnapped by Islamic State jihads over past two weeks Watch

Image of According to one eyewitness account, IS fighters surrounded a nearby Iraqi village of Kocho and demanded that its Yazidi residents convert to Islam or die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A harrowing account of Yazidis being executed en masse by Islamic State rebels has reached the outside world. At least 80 men and boys were shot down where they stood in a village late last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to one eyewitness ... continue reading


The Islamic State starts its rampage across Syria Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State, which have been rampaging across Iraq and Syria, executing thousands of non-Sunni Muslims, Christians, and religious minorities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Since August began, gunmen from the Islamic State have executed 700 members of a Syrian tribe, the majority of which were civilians, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)-a human rights monitoring group-on August 16. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... 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