Egypt Christians Hoping for Constitution Based on Citizenship, Equality and Civil State - Not Religion

Former Egypt MP Emad Gad, a member of the Supreme Commission of the Social Democratic Party, has said Christian Copts in the country are still dreaming of a constitution that entrenches rights, freedoms and civil state.

Gad stressed that "the constitution of Egypt must be based on citizenship, equality and non-discrimination, and outlines the basis of a civil state, and does not allow the establishment of parties on a religious basis," during an interview with Mideast Christian News.

"The constitution of a civil state should not include articles that provide for the right of non-Muslims to resort to their laws, because this is organized by personal status [laws], and there is no need for such articles already enforced on the ground," Gad told MCN. "Adding any articles on resorting to religious laws in personal status issues in the constitution leads to establishment of a religious state."

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The Constitution of 2012, which was drafted by the Islamic currents, stipulates in Article 3 that "the principles of the [religious] laws of Christian and Jewish Egyptians are the main source of legislation governing their personal and religious affairs and election of their spiritual leaders."

Article 4 states that "Al-Azhar is an independent Islamic institution that alone shall administer its affairs, and shall propagate Islamic theology and Arabic language in Egypt and the world. Senior Scholars Authority of Al-Azhar shall be consulted in issues relating to Sharia. The state guarantees sufficient funds to achieve its objectives. Sheikh of Al-Azhar is independent and cannot be dismissed and the law regulates how to be chosen from among the members of the Senior Scholars Authority. All of this is regulated by law."

Article 219 states that "the principles of Islamic Sharia include its holistic evidence, its fundamental doctrines, its Islamic-jurisprudence (Fiqh) doctrines and its acknowledged sources within the madhab (or schools) of the people of Sunnah and Jama'ah."

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