Where the new constitution differs most significantly from the old one is on issues of Islam’s role in governance and law. The 2012 constitution included three articles that broadly defined and significantly expanded the role of Islamic jurisprudence.
Article 2, which dates back to the 1971 constitution, establishes the Sunni branch of Islamic jurisprudence as the basic guideline for legislation. The 2012 constitution added two others: Article 4, which stated that Al Azhar, Egypt’s highest institution of Islamic learning, should be consulted on how to define Islamic law, and Article 219, which effectively includes all Sunni jurisprudence since Islam’s founding as relevant to Egyptian legislation. Secular activists and constitutional experts have harshly criticized Article 219, saying it was open to overly broad interpretation and could effectively be used to affect every aspect of Egyptian law.
In the new draft constitution, Articles 4 and 219 have essentially been deleted.
This is not the best draft constitution but much better than Mr Morsi’s constitution. The new draft prevents people from their right to freedom of expression. Among 50 members who are working to draft the new constitution, only four are women.
I hope good sense will prevail and they will learn how to respect everyone’s human rights and treat women as equal human beings. In the meantime, it would be wonderful if Islamism died a natural death.