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Shari’a Friday just the beginning

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Salafi groups will protest Friday to demand implementation of Islamic Shari’a in the new constitution

The “Coalition to Protect Shari’a” warned of a secular danger to Egypt. (PHOTO BY HASSAN IBRAHIM)

The “Coalition to Protect Shari’a” warned of a secular danger to Egypt. (PHOTO BY HASSAN IBRAHIM)

Islamic Shari’a should be the principle source of legislation in Egypt’s new constitution said a number of Salafi political parties and groups on Wednesday.

A press conference, held under the auspices of the “Coalition to Protect Shari’a,” a Gamia Al-Islamiya-led coalition of Salafis working to include full Shari’a in the country’s new constitution, was in preparation for “Shari’a Friday” protests.

The Muslim Brotherhood announced Wednesday it would not participate in the protest.

“Egypt without Shari’a is a country without value, security or stability,” said Khaled El-Shendowany a member of the Gamia Al-Islamiya’s political wing, the Building and Development Party.

El-Shendowany called on Egypt’s Islamists to unite under one banner to fight what he called the secularist danger.

“There is a secular danger and those secularists should disappear in shame for their role in supporting Mubarak. And their role in receiving foreign funds to combat Islam in things such as the anti-FGM and anti-hijab campaigns they led,” he said.

“They take money from western organisations such as the United Nations and the American Congress with the admission of officials such as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” added El Shendowany.

Fellow party member and official spokesperson Tarek Al-Zumur echoed El-Shendowany’s sentiments.

“We announce the beginning of the Shari’a activities because the Shari’a is in danger and Egypt is in danger. There are secular and liberal forces lurking and lying in wait for the Constituent Assembly,” said Al-Zumur.

“They want to limit the constitution on Shari’a. They want to forbid what God has allowed and allow what he has forbidden,” he added

Al-Zumur said the quest would continue after Shari’a Friday through an ongoing series of protests and other activities that will go on until Shari’a is implemented.

Building and Development Party Chairman Safwat Abdel Ghany said the coalition met Constituent Assembly Chairman Hossam El-Gheriany and members Mohamed Mahsoub and Mohamed Beltagy and spoke to them about the importance of Shari’a in the constitution.

He added that they were also scheduled to meet President Mohamed Morsy later on Wednesday as part of his scheduled meeting with religious figures and that they would also bring it up with him.

“Shari’a does not mean immediately implementing Islamic hudud [punishments] for we have to ensure social justice and eradicate poverty before cutting off the hands of thieves,” he said.

The conference hall broke into chants of “the people demand the implementation of God’s rulings,” and “Doctor Mohamed Morsy, Shari’a is more important than the chair,” at that point.

Controversy and verbal altercations were caused by Magdy Hassan’s speech. Hassan, Chairman of the New Labour Party, accused liberals of trying to “destroy the nation” by fighting the Constituent Assembly.

In a comment which earned the crowd’s approval he also said that the “Islamic project” was gaining ground regardless of what the constitution said and that more judges and legislators are becoming Islamists on their own accord.

Hassan’s advocating for the phrase “principles of Shari’a” instead of just “Shari’a” to remain in Article 2 of the constitution as the principle source of legislation earned him the anger of the crowd; predominantly made up of Islamist youth.

“We reject principle: this is an Islamist state despite the secularists noses,” and “The people demand the implementation of God’s law,” were the loudest chants, this time in an angry rather than approving tone. Hassan had to leave the press conference.

“Those who reject the Shari’a are infidels, rejecting the Shari’a is apostasy,” Adel Afifi, Chairman of the Salafi Authenticity Party, repeated several times. He added that the constitution must directly state that Shari’a, and not its principles, is the main source of legislation.

Afifi explained that since Islamists define themselves as those who want to implement the rulings of Islam, and the “others” define themselves by their opposition of Islamists, then it logically follows that they are infidels.

He also demanded that the constitution must furthermore outline how Shari’a can be implemented and it must do so in Article 2 and not in a transitional article at the end of the draft.

“One drop of semen contains four million sperm, I am one of these sperm and so are you and everyone. So how dare the sperm in the Constituent Assembly try to change God’s laws,” asked Ahmed Amer.

Amer is the Assistant Secretary General of the Quran Teachers and Readers Syndicate in Cairo.

“We have to all go to the streets on Friday, we have to lead God’s religion to victory. The Quran is the constitution,” he said.

About the author

Ahmed Aboulenein

News Reporter

Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein


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