Joseph Mayton | 29 November 2012
"Egypt is on the brink as the government of President Mohamed Morsi appears to
be pushing through a constitution despite numerous withdrawals from the drafting
committee, ongoing strikes, protests and a large sit-in in Tahrir Square against
The iconic square, the heart of the January 2011 uprising, has been in full
swing for the past week, with protesters building up a strong showing daily and
a makeshift tent city having been erected demanding that Morsi withdraw what has
been described by activists and opposition political leaders as a power grab to
rival the Mubarak era.
Activists have continued to block of Tahrir Square, a new wall was added to
downtown Cairo on Qasr el-Aini street near the square and protesters attempt to
clean garbage that has been strewn across the center of the capital.
More and more groups have joined the opposition sit-ins, including the
judiciary, which is threatening to push Egypt into a massive shutdown of the
Making matters worse, on Thursday, Morsi and his fellow conservatives began
pushing through a constitution that has most liberals and secular activists
angry that during this crisis the government would attempt to pass a document
seen as divisive and limiting on freedoms.......
The constituent assembly, despite seeing the withdrawal of all women and many
other members in protest over the Salafists – Islamic puritans – went forward
with ensuring Islamic statutes and Islamic law, or Sharia, would remain a focal
point of the document.
It means that Islamic law will continue to be the main source of legislation,
unchanged from the previous constitution under deposed President Hosni
The role of Islam has been long disputed and has frustrated many Egyptians
who had hoped that civil law would supercede any religious tendencies......
Egypt is facing a political impasse many say is similar to early days of the
January 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak."