Et forslag til ny egyptisk grunnlov ble lagt frem onsdag. Det sier at sharia skal inspirere Egypts lover. Dermed blir Egypt et samfunn for muslimer, og de som ikke er religiøse får det vanskelig.

Problemet er at islamister og salafister står så sterkt at de alene kan avgjøre debatten. Sekulære, moderate og liberale er marginalisert.

Jeffrey Fleishman skriver i Los Angeles Times:

Egypt unveiled a proposed draft of a new constitution Wednesday amid criticism from liberals and human rights groups that the document is tilted toward Islamic law and endangers the democratic ideals of the uprising that last year overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

The partial draft, which was opened for public review, immediately revealed the battle lines between Islamists and secularists over the nation’s character. Dominated by ultraconservative and moderate Islamists, the 100-member assembly that wrote the charter made it clear that civil and religious rights would be shaped through the prism of Islam.


The draft states that Egypt is «a democratic regime» guided by the principles of sharia, or Islamic law. But the wording in some articles, such as those dealing with equality for men and women, are either explicitly tied to strict Islamic precepts or open to interpretation. Human rights groups fear such ambiguity will allow Islamists, especially ultraconservative Salafis, to exploit the language to advance a more religion-centric state.

Article 36 stipulates that «the state shall take all measures to establish the equality of women and men in the areas of political, cultural, economic, and social life, as well as all other areas, insofar as this does not conflict with the rulings of Islamic sharia

Human Rights Watch criticized the provision as «not consistent with international human rights law.» In a report this week, the organization said that the proposed draft «contains many loopholes that would allow future authorities to repress and limit basic rights and freedoms.»


Hjelpeløsheten til de liberale og sekulære stemmene gjør inntrykk.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei and other activists and politicians released a statement criticizing the assembly for «the absence of a basic understanding of things that concern the Egyptian citizen, such as basic freedom, economic and social rights.»

But Egypt’s political dynamics are propelled by Islamists, and the pivotal struggle over the tone of the constitution is mainly between Salafis and moderate Islamists, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both the Salafis and the Brotherhood will be seeking to broaden their influence in parliamentary elections expected next year.


Liberals and rights groups are especially troubled by Salafi attempts to in effect grant Al Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most revered university, the power to influence legislation. So far, that provision is not in the draft document, but it remains a contentious issue among Islamists.

En kjent kommentator bruker så sterke ord som at fascismen venter. Det er ord som man ikke hører fra liberale og sosialdemokrater i Europa, som ellers er flinke til å bruke det om politiske motstandere. Men når en ny totalitær retning reiser seg, er de tause, eller snur seg bort.

But critics say the draft document attempts to enshrine an all-powerful state that imposes a single identity on its people. In a recent essay in the Egypt Independent newspaper headlined «Fascism in our new constitution,» Sherif Younis, a university lecturer on Egyptian and European modern history, wrote:

«The draft constitution defines citizens as those whose identity is primarily Islamic, and, secondly, nationals of the country. In this conception of citizenship, the state aims to control and hegemonize citizens’ visions, stances and beliefs, working to entrench them and produce standardized citizens.»


Egypt unveils draft of new constitution
The proposed draft states Egypt will be guided by the principles of sharia, or Islamic law. Critics say loopholes could mean limits on basic rights or freedoms.