Egyptian government urged to avoid discriminationcomment (0)
August 16, 2012
Muslim and Coptic Christian leaders in the U.S. are calling on the Egyptian government to exclude any mention of Islamic law or language that discriminates against minorities in its draft constitution.
In a letter released Aug. 7, the leaders urge the constitution writers to “recognize the equality of all Egyptians and to reject any language that would discriminate against any citizen of Egypt on the basis of that citizen’s religion or gender.”
Because Egypt is home to millions of Christians, attempts to describe Islamic law, or Shariah, as the source of the country’s law should also be rejected, the letter said.
Shariah is interpreted differently by various schools within Islam; some Muslims believe Shariah is a personal code that has no place in government, while in several Islamic countries Shariah infuses national law.
Egypt’s recently elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood but has pledged to be “the president of all Egyptians.”
Signatories of the letter include Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress and Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in America. James J. Zogby’s Arab American Institute sponsored the letter.