Coptic pope threatens to withdraw representatives from assembly over Sharia provision
November 15, 2012
Pope Tawadros II, the new head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, is threatening to withdraw Coptic representatives from the Constituent Assembly, the 100-member committee entrusted with the task of drafting a new Egyptian constitution, over concerns that the new constitution will grant an even greater role to Sharia law. Five of the 100 members of the Constituent Assembly are Copts.
Article II of the current constitution states that “Islam is the religion of the state, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic law are the chief source of legislation.” The Constituent Assembly may remove the phrase “the principles of” from the article, effectively making Sharia the law of the land.
“There will be seas of blood everywhere in the coming period if Islamic Sharia law is not applied,” Sheikh Mahmoud Amer, a prominent Salafi cleric, said recently. “For this reason, I call on Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi to ensure the victory of Sharia and save the country from the coming bloody battles.”