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Egyptian politicians raise alarm over hard-line Islamists seeking to use constitution to impose Sha

London, Wed, 26 Sep 2012 ANI

London, Sep 26 (ANI): The troubled process of drafting Egypt's postrevolutionary constitution has turned implacable, after secular-minded politicians and intellectuals raised calls, objecting to what they call hard-line Islamists' efforts to use the document to impose strict Islamic law.

Egyptian politicians have demanded the resignation of their counterparts on the 100-seat constituent assembly, the body tasked with framing Egypt's new constitution. They allege that conservatives on the body are attempting to impose Shariah law and limit freedoms of expression in media and art, to the liberal framers' objections.

Noah Feldman, a professor of law at Harvard University and an expert on Islamic jurisprudence said that the Islamists' increasing confidence may be a vestige of outrage over an American-made film clip that many Muslims say insults the Prophet Muhammad, The Wall Street Journal reports.

He said that the anger that spread across the protesters, following the release of the clip, might be now playing out in Egypt's constituent assembly. "It's not a good time to press for a freedom of speech clause," he said.

While, none of the committee members cited the Internet film clips as a reason for the shift in tone, Emad Abdel Ghaffour, the head of the Salafi Nour Party and a member of the assembly, said the differences between liberals and Islamists were "personal" rather than political. He declined to elaborate.

Mohammed Salmawy, a leader in the National Committee for the Defense of Freedom of Expression, said that draft articles cited in the local press were more backward and strict than the laws that existed during the Mubarak era.

"The proposals are really shocking in many ways. They are even more backward than what was there during Mubarak's time," he said.

A different resolution to the impasse may loom. An administrative court will decide Oct. 2 whether to dissolve the assembly on the grounds that it was nominated by a Parliament that itself was later dissolved as unconstitutional, the paper said. (ANI)

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