Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

7/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After the sweeping victory of the Tamarod protests (the rebel campaign), Muslim groups and Coptic Christians received a real scare when they first saw the 33-article constitutional declaration. According to news reports, some members of the coalition groups had rejected the declaration.

Adly Mansour, the interim president of Egypt

Adly Mansour, the interim president of Egypt

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/14/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Egypt, Muslim, Coptic, Christian, Tamarod, Constitutional Declaration, Adly Mansour, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - After the sweeping victory of the Tamarod protests (the rebel campaign), Muslim groups and Coptic Christians received a real scare when they first saw the 33-article constitutional declaration. According to news reports, some members of the coalition groups had rejected the declaration. One report said the Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic group, called it shocking.

The 33-article declaration was released on Monday, July 8, 2013. It is meant to be the roadmap for Egypt going forward until the new government is in place, hopefully six months from now. But it is not compatible with the ideals of the Tamarod protest as it stands.

One of the main criticisms against the declaration concerns the first article. It states, "that the Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic system based on citizenship, that Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language and the principles of sharia law derived from established Sunni canons are its main source of legislation." Article 1 of the declaration reportedly combines articles 1, 2 and 219 from the suspended 2012 Islamist constitution that Morsi tried to impose on all Egyptians.

Article 2 in the Egyptian Constitution has long been a bone of contention for Coptic Christians, for it discriminates against non-Muslims and women, especially Coptic women. The Copts petitioned for its removal under Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak. It reads as follows: "Islam is the state religion, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic sharia are the main source of legislation."

However, Article 2 was generally interpreted loosely under Mubarak. This was not the case when Morsi became president. Under Morsi, Article 2 was retained and Article 219 was added. The purpose of Article 219 was to tie Article 2 more tightly to Islamic law in terms of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence. This further strengthened sharia law in Egypt.

While Article 1 is probably the main concern of the 33-article declaration released on July 8, there are other concerns as well. The declaration also gives the interim president Adly Mansour a great deal of authority; it retains military trials for civilians; it appears to limit freedom of expression and freedom of association.

Some people believe that the Salafist Nour Party, which is Islamist and came in second after the Muslim Brotherhood during the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, is responsible for this first draft, and that they pressured Mansour during the shaping of the declaration.

However, the interim president indicated that this was not the final draft, and that he would address the collective concerns of the members of the Tamarod coalition and amend the constitutional declaration prior to the final draft, which is expected in a month. It appears that the news reports were premature, but only time will tell for sure.

Liberal and moderate Muslims and Coptic Christians had high hopes two and a half years ago that they would share in the Arab Spring. But thus far the Arab Spring has only benefited Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. It has been an utter failure for Christians, many of whom have suffered increased persecution, even martyrdom.

Premature or not, these latest reports about the constitutional declaration remind us that millions of Muslims and Christians in Egypt want to be free and live in peace. They want a chance for a better life, and they are fed up being lied to, manipulated and oppressed by their leaders in government. I think these determined, brave Egyptian souls are an inspiration for us all, and they give us all hope.

According to some reports, it seems somewhere between 15 and 17 million Egyptians stood up to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. They stood up to a powerful, corrupt organization that grabbed power through the democratic process in order to transform Egypt into an oppressive Islamic theocracy. The Tamarod Protest will go down in history as a reminder to all people that they can do it too.

The Tamarod protest is also a reminder to Americans. The Obama administration is possibly the most corrupt and divisive administration in the history of the United States. We are experts in democracy. We have more legitimate avenues for political dissent than most people have ever dreamed of. If so many brave Egyptian souls can take back their government, then the American people can take back their government too!

Let us pray for a peaceful and successful transition in Egypt. Let us also pray for all those who are being oppressed throughout the world and for freedom and peace in our own countries.
 

 -----

Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

-----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Middle East

Islamic puritans threaten dissent in Saudi kingdom, asking King Abdullah to DESTROY the tomb of MOHAMED! Watch

Image of Wahhabi clerics are asking King Abdullah to destroy the tomb of Mohamed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recommendation from Saudi clerics to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is creating controversy in the powerful Middle-Eastern kingdom. The proposal, set forth by hardline clerics, calls for the destruction of the tomb of Mohammed and possibly the shrine at Mecca, to ... continue reading


Paul Bhatti, Brother of Martyr Shabhaz Bhatti, Urges Pope Francis to Visit Persecuted Christians in Pakistan. Watch

Image of The Christian Martyr of Pakistan, Shabhaz Bhatti,

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The world should pause once again to consider the Christian heroism shown by Shabhaz Bhatti in 2011. At the time, Shahbaz Bhatti was the only Christian member of the Parliament of Pakistan. He was executed in cold blood by militant Islamists on March 2, 2011. He ... continue reading


World 'cannot keep silent about the existence of the so-called ISIS,' patriarchs declare Watch

Image of The recent summit addressing IS was presided over by Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meeting at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs convened for a special summit to address the crisis in Iraq and Syria. Later joined by the United Nations' special coordinator in Lebanon and the ... continue reading


U.S., Europe next on Islamic State's list to attack, Saudi king warns Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the world grows more appalled by the day about the inhumanities conducted by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah warns that the west is not immune. A staunch ally of both the U.S. and its allies, Saudi King Abdullah bin ... continue reading


Fleeing imminent death, three million Syrians now registered in other countries. That's half the population of Syria. Watch

Image of A bride crossing the Israel-Syria border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement. As of this ... continue reading


Video shows rows of bodies as 250 Syrian soldiers DEATH MARCHED, forced to chant praises to their executioners before being killed (Warning: PHOTOS)

Image of Forced to chant praised to their executioners, jubilant ISIS terrorists killed approximately 250 Syrian prisoners.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has committed another atrocity, this time murdering as many as 250 Syrian soldiers following a half-naked death-march across the desert sand to their place of execution. The entire way, as a video reveals, the men were compelled to chant and sing ... continue reading


Yazidi women held prisoners by IS sold as sex slaves, jihadist brides Watch

Image of Women held captive by ISIS have their newborn babies taken from them -- to never be seen again.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In just the latest devaluation of humanity in the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria, hundreds of Yazidi women being held prisoner by Islamic State fighters to be sold off as sex slaves or wives. They are selling these women for as little as $25. They are repeatedly ... continue reading


Islamic State invasion 'pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide' Watch

Image of Patriarch Younan says that in the Kurdistan region,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan has returned from the Kurdish region of Iraq, and what he has seen has been harrowing indeed. What he made of the handiwork of Islamic State, he said, "is a pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted ... continue reading


Second American confirmed killed fighting for ISIS in Syria Watch

Image of Neither overtly religious nor politically vocal, Abdirahmaan Muhumed appears to have been radicalized by jihadi rap videos, romanticized notions of revolution and first-hand accounts of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A father-of-nine from Minneapolis has become the second confirmed American jihadi to die fighting for ISIS in Syria. Twenty-nine-year-old Abdirahmaan Muhumed is believed to have died last week in the same battle as U.S. rapper Douglas McArthur McCain, likewise ... continue reading


Children forced by IS to watch shootings, beheadings Watch

Image of Other acts of inhumanity include amputations, the stoning to death of women by

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children in both Iraq and Syria are being forced to watch as IS beheads or shoots its victims at close range. According to a United Nations report, corpses are then displayed on crucifixes with decapitated heads exhibited on sticks -- for days long afterwards. ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter