Removing Art 219 threatens Islamic identity of Egypt: Al Nour

Al Nour Salafist Party, only Islamic party which agreed to Egypt`s roadmap objected to amendment to Constitution, saying removal of article 219 from it threatens Islamic identity of Arab country.

Cairo: Al Nour Salafist Party, the only Islamic party which agreed to Egypt`s roadmap has objected to amendment to the Constitution, saying removal of article 219 from it threatens the Islamic identity of the Arab country.
Sherif Taha, the official spokesperson of the Nour Salafist Party has stated that removing article 219 from the 2012 constitution is considered a breach of the political road map agreed upon by different political groups last month.

In a press statement yesterday, Taha condemned the 10 members of the technical committee, who were assigned by the interim president to amend the Constitution, for proposing the deletion of article 219, saying that the article was already endorsed by Al Azhar itself and not just the Islamist parties.

"Deleting this article will make many feel that what happened on 30 June was a move against the Islamic identity of Egypt, the thing which nobody wants," Taha said.

Article 219 from the 2012 constitution stipulates that the principles of Islamic sharia include general evidence, the foundational principles of Islamic jurisprudence, the reliable sources from among the Sunni schools of thought.

Taha said that article 219 was an explanatory article to interpret article 2 of the 1971 Constitution.

Article 2 of the Constitution says that Islam is the state`s religion, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic sharia form the main source of legislation.

Article 219 caused controversy as many human rights activists deemed it discriminatory against non-Sunni religious minorities.

"The case of Egypt`s Islamic identity is not the cause of a certain party, but it is the cause of the Egyptian people and there is no disagreement regarding it," Taha said.

The Nour Salafist party, the political arm of the Salafist Call movement, was the only Islamist party to agree on the road map adopted by anti-Brotherhood forces and the Egyptian army after the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi in early July 2013.

The amended draft of the Constitution will be announced either today or next Saturday. A 50-member committee will discuss it afterwards before it is put to a public referendum, which will then be followed by parliamentary elections.


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