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Egypt’s proposed constitution criticized for favoring Islam




Egyptian members of the constitution committee listen to US-Egyptian Nobel prize-winning scientist Ahmed Zewail at the Shura council in Cairo on September 11, 2012.
Egyptian members of the constitution committee listen to US-Egyptian Nobel prize-winning scientist Ahmed Zewail at the Shura council in Cairo on September 11, 2012.
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

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Egypt’s new government may not ultimately embrace the democratic ideals demanded by citizens who overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak last year. The country’s 100-member assembly revealed a partial draft of a new constitution to the public yesterday and it indicates that religious and civil rights will likely be shaped by Islamist values.

One section reportedly leaked yet missing from the preliminary charter is one that would give Al-Azhar, the country’s highest Islamic authority, unprecedented powers to review pending laws. Another section that would define the nature of Egypt’s new system of checks and balances is also not included in the released draft, which has yet to be officially voted on. Committee members are hoping to put the new constitution to a national referendum by the end of the year.

Are Egyptians simply replacing one oppressive regime with another? How would a new Islam-centric Egypt impact the international community?

Guest:

Ahmed Namatalla, emerging markets reporter, Bloomberg News Cairo