AFRICA/EGYPT - Al Azhar: the revision of the Constitution will not disavow the Islamic identity of the Nation

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Islamic identity of Egypt will remain confirmed in the Constitution with the consent of Christian Churches. This was stated by Al-Azhar University, in a statement issued last Saturday with which the highest cultural and religious institution of Sunni Islam gave its assurance that the ongoing revision of the Constitution currently in force - a strong Islamist imprint – will not abolish the references to Islam as a matrix of national identity. In this phase of the amendment – explains the statement - Al-Azhar agrees with the three Egyptian churches on the need to "obtain a constitution that emphasizes the Islamic identity of Egypt and to give priority to national reconciliation, overcoming political considerations". Therefore, with these general guidelines, the Christian representatives in the Committee of Constitutional revision – called to complete their work by the end of October - will not oppose.
In the Committee of revision of the Constitution, chaired by former Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Mussa and formed by 50 members, three are Christians: the Coptic Orthodox Bishop Paula (eparchy of Tanta), the Coptic Catholic Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina and Safwat al-Bayyady, President of the Evangelical communities in Egypt. The Committee has decided to join the Salafi Islamist party of Al Nour, while the Muslim Brotherhood have remained outside. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/09/2013).