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Unhappy Egyptians Given Two Weeks to Consider Divisive Constitution That Elevates Sharia

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Dec 04
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Given just two weeks to consider a draft constitution that will be put to a national referendum Dec. 15, Egyptians took to the streets in large numbers Tuesday to protest the latest development in their country's chaotic political transition, reports. Drafted by ultra-conservative Islamists despite concerns of many non-Muslims and liberals, the constitution has deepened divisions in Egyptian society. Voicing support are president Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party, the two parties which together dominated the elected legislature (whose future remains uncertain since a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling last June), and several prominent Islamic leaders. Opponents of the constitution and referendum plan include Coptic Christians, some minority Shia and Sufi Muslims, liberal and secular political parties, and two former presidential hopefuls, Amr Moussa and Mohamed ElBaradei. The judiciary also appears to be divided, with some judges saying they will refuse to oversee the referendum, as required by law, but the Supreme Judicial Council was reported Monday to have agreed to supervise the process. The rush to push ahead with the constitution followed Morsi's controversial Nov. 22 decree granting himself extensive new powers and exempting his decisions from judicial review.