Bishop warns: Egypt’s amended constitution is even more Islamist than the previous one
July 11, 2013
A Coptic Catholic bishop has criticized Egypt’s new amended constitution, which came into force on July 8 by government decree. “We are concerned,” said Bishop Kamal Fahim Awad (Boutros) Hanna of Minya. “We are ridiculed. The provisions that in the old constitution seemed bad in the eyes of Christians are highlighted in the new text. If we do not speak now, we will not be able to say anything.” Coptic Christians criticized Egypt’s constitution, adopted by referendum in 2012, for declaring the principles of Sharia to be the “main source of legislation.” The amended constitution, which Egypt’s new government states is provisional, “adds that the interpretation of the Sharia law should be in accordance with the body of laws developed in the early centuries of Islam,” according to the Fides news agency. In addition, Article 3 of the 2012 constitution, which discusses the rights of Christians and Jews, has been eliminated. “For Egyptian Christians and Jews, the principles of their religious law will be the main source in regulating their personal status, matters pertaining to their religion, and the selection of their spiritual leadership,” the article stated.
- Coptic disapproval concerning the Provisional Constitution (Fides)
- Rows over Egypt's constitutional decree signal hurdles ahead (Reuters)
- Translation of Egyptian constitution (2012)