AirTalk for November 30, 2012

Egypt passes draft constitution amid protests

EGYPT-POLITICS-DEMO

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian protesters wave their national flag as they shout political slogans against President Mohamed Morsi's decree granting himself broad powers during a demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The Egyptian revolution was a historic monumental event that explicitly illustrated the utter severity of the Arab Spring, but has Egypt replaced one dictator with another? That is the question looming on the minds of citizens and the international community alike after President Mohamed Morsi last week issued a decree that disallowed court challenges to his decisions. Moreover, the Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly rushed to pass a draft of the new Egyptian constitution today before the nation’s highest court could dissolve the assembly.

The proposed constitution states that Egypt will be governed by the “principles” of Islamic law, which is the same wording in the charter overseen by former president Hosni Mubarak. Liberal critics and non-Muslims argue that the language in certain articles of the draft could allow conservative Islamists to impose a strict paradigm of the Islamist sharia law. In a television interview broadcast hours before the proposed constitution was approved, Morsi said his decree “will end as soon as the people vote on a constitution. There is no place for dictatorship.” Still, protesters unhappy with Morsi continue to express their disappointment in their government’s new regime.

Are the interests of secularists, women, and others being ignored and alienated in the approved draft? How long will it take for Egypt to establish a charter that is generally accepted by both Muslims and non-Muslims?

Guest:

Kristen Chick, Cairo correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor


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