Egyptian Lawmakers Include Sharia Law in New Constitution

What a complete shock…
Egyptian lawmakers have included Sharia law in the country’s new and improved constitution.

Egypt’s Constitutional Court starts a voting session on the document’s final draft. (AFP)

Al-Aarabiya reported

Egypt’s Constituent Assembly decided on Thursday to keep “principles of sharia” or Islamic law as the main source of legislation, leaving the article’s language unchanged from the previous constitution.

The issue was the subject of a long dispute between hardline Salafi Islamists and liberals in the assembly which will vote on each of 234 articles in the draft constitution before it is sent to President Mohamed Mursi for approval. After that, Mursi must put it to a popular referendum.

The body writing Egypt’s new constitution began a session to vote on a final draft on Thursday, a move President Mohamed Mursi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood hope will help end a crisis prompted by a decree expanding his powers.

The constitutional panel is voting on the constitution article by article.

Mursi is expected to call for national unity in a public address at 7.00 p.m. (1700 GMT) to ease the crisis, which has set off a week of protests and threatens to derail early signs of economic recovery from two years of turmoil.

In an interview with Time, Mursi said the majority supported his decree. But he added: “If we had a constitution, then all of what I have said or done last week will stop.”

Two people have been killed and hundreds injured in countrywide protests ignited by the decree Mursi issued last Thursday.

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