Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

7/14/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Middle East

ISIS DOOMSDAY PLAN: Islamic State plans to invade India to draw United States into conflict Watch

Image of The document says that reparations for an attack on India are already underway, in  which ISIS leaders hope concludes with a war with the U.S.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A nefarious plot to draw the United States into armed conflict with Islamic State has been revealed in a top-secret document. In an attempt to bring about "the end of the world," the document states that ISIS will invade India in a bid to draw the U.S. into an all-out ... continue reading


Taliban leader, 'One-Eye' Mullah Omar confirmed dead Watch

Image of Mullah Mohammad Omar is confirmed to be dead according to the Afghan government.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Afghan government confirmed Taliban leader "One-Eye" Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years. The militant leader died "under mysterious circumstances" in a hospital in Karachi City in Pakistan in April 2013, according to Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, a ... continue reading


Australian reality TV stars 'shot at' by ISIS in Syria Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian public broadcaster, SBS defended the reality show where participants were shot at by ISIS militants in Syria. The incident was said to be a part of a trip retracing refugees' journeys and that those involved had wide security provisions. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


'End of the world' ISIS document reveals terrorist group's world domination plan Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A suspected ISIS recruitment document discovered in Pakistan's anarchic tribal lands revealed that the religious extremist group has ostentatious ambitions of building a new terrorist army in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to triggering a war in India to provoke ... continue reading


STARVATION: One in two families in Yemen has no idea where their next meal is coming from Watch

Image of The problem is so severe, one in two of Yemen's people, or nearly 13 million struggle to find bread for their mouths.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the greatest casualties of war is displaced civilian populations left without the necessities of life. In Yemen, nearly 4,000 people have been killed with more than 1.2 million people displaced. On ongoing battle between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to exiled ... continue reading


Iran's Assets Uncovered: Iran cash windfall from Iran nuclear deal estimated at $150 billion Watch

Image of Iran celebrates nuclear deal.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A total of $150 billion is estimated to be the amount Iran will receive from the Iran deal. This amount will provide the country more than the $124.3 billion the U.S. has given to Israel in total financial aid since 1948. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Refugee boy beaten for selling tissues at Turkish restaurant galvanizes nation Watch

Image of Ahmet's story is one of millions of Syrians. Forced to flee to Turkey because of his homeland's civil war, his family lives in a two-bedroom apartment without electricity and running water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a shocking incident that drew attention to the plight of millions of refugees living in host countries. Thirteen-year-old Ahmet Hamdo, whose large Syrian family fled the war-torn town of Aleppo, was beaten mercilessly by a Turkish restaurant owner for selling ... continue reading


ISIS leader sentences a woman to be beheaded as wedding present to cruel female Sharia judge Watch

Image of [Photo By: Jamie Wiseman/ Mail Online]

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally sanctioned a women to be beheaded, as a wedding present to a brutal female "judge" in the terror group's feared religious police. The cruel woman asked to slaughter an unbelieving "infidel" in return for taking a new husband after the ... continue reading


Australian man anxious to fight against Islamic State - is detained and arrested Watch

Image of Jamie Reece Williams was in court in Melbourne after counter-terrorism officers charged him with preparing to enter a foreign country with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian authorities have clamped down a misguided attempt at heroism. Jamie Reece Williams, from suburban Melbourne was arrested after he allegedly try to fly to northern Iraq to join Kurdish forces battling Islamic State. It remains illegal for any Australian to ... continue reading


YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY HEAD! - Notorious ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John' now on the run from his former bosses Watch

Image of There are rumors that Jihadi John had been moved by ISIS to Libya, where he supposedly attended a terror training camp with Sousse gunman Seifeddine Rezgui.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

He was at one time the most visible and dreaded figure in the Islamic State terror group . now, "Jihadi John" has fled for his life, afraid that his ISIS overlords were planning to kill him with as much leniency mercy as he did captive journalists. LOS ANGELES, ... 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, Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
2 And the whole community of Israelites began ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
3 What we have heard and know, what our ancestors ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:24-35
24 When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
17 So this I say to you and attest to you in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Eusebius of Vercelli
August 2: Christians who breathed a sigh of relief when Constantine ... 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