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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 06:58 PM

Islamist-leaning draft constitution divides Egypt

Source: AP-Excite

By HAMZA HENDAWI

CAIRO (AP) - President Mohammed Morsi is unlikely to worry if Egypt's Islamist-leaning draft constitution passes by only a small margin in a Dec. 15 referendum, since he and his backers tout his 51 percent election victory in June as a "popular mandate" that is beyond any challenge.

Still, an idea taking root among many secular Egyptians is that a constitution requires a reasonable degree of consensus to qualify as a charter for all - and that it is fundamentally illegitimate to ram one through by a simple majority despite opposition from key sectors of society that oppose giving religion such a major role in the affairs of state.

"It is irrational to have a constitution that does not genuinely represent everyone," said Kahlil al-Anani, a British-based expert on Egypt. "It is important that a constitution is passed with a comfortable majority, but it does not make the document less credible if it is a modest majority."

The proposed constitution is at the heart of the nation's worst political crisis since the overthrow nearly two years ago of authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. The charter has divided Egypt, with Morsi and his Islamist backers, including ultraconservative Salafis, in one camp, and secularists and leftists, including minority Christians and women, in the other.

FULL story at link.



Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121209/DA32FPA01.html





Egyptian men stand near Arabic writing on a wall in Arabic that reads, "down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood," in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Egypt's liberal opposition has called for more protests on Sunday after the president made concessions overnight that fell short of their demands to rescind a draft constitution going to a referendum on Dec. 15. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Islamist-leaning draft constitution divides Egypt (Original post)
Omaha Steve Dec 2012 OP
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #1
Phillip McCleod Dec 2012 #3
leveymg Dec 2012 #4
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #6
Phillip McCleod Dec 2012 #7
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #20
Catherina Dec 2012 #27
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #28
zellie Dec 2012 #29
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #25
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #5
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #15
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #17
njcamden_25884 Dec 2012 #9
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #12
wellspring Dec 2012 #10
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #11
wellspring Dec 2012 #13
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #14
pampango Dec 2012 #18
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #19
John2 Dec 2012 #23
FarrenH Dec 2012 #21
John2 Dec 2012 #26
freshwest Dec 2012 #2
Phillip McCleod Dec 2012 #8
LeftInTX Dec 2012 #16
zellie Dec 2012 #22
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #24
snooper2 Dec 2012 #30

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:02 PM

1. How about if we let Egptians vote on it Dec. 15?

 

If they don't like it they can reject it. That's the democratic way after all. Funny how this week's "protesters" don't seem to like democracy anymore.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:21 PM

3. sometimes a simple majority isn't enough

 

that's what the protesters are saying about the constitution. in the u.s. we need a super majority and then a super super majority to ratify an amendment just to be sure.

you seem ready to dismiss the protesters (air quotes and all) but on what basis? maybe you think theocracy is a good idea for egypt and the secular revolutionaries who brought us the arab spring? a super majority isn't needed there because ... why?

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:28 PM

4. That may be true, but tell that to the Supreme Ct with all its 5-4s, and the 2000 election came

down to a few hundred votes in FL. Sometimes, a majority vote is a bad thing, but we don't just ignore it when it doesn't suit us.

Frankly, the problem is that Egypt doesn't have a long-established Bill of Rights based Constitution for reference and stability. It's not goin to become a secular, rights-based American clone overnight, mo matter how much we may want that.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:31 PM

6. Yes. n/t

 

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Response to leveymg (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:25 PM

7. election by simple majority is fine

 

when there are term limits. establishing a modern secular democratic republic that can become long-established is another and should require a higher standard.

as for the pot-stirring comment below it doesn't deserve a response but here's one anyway: secular revolutionaries who sparked the arab spring in the first place have never been happy about the drafting of the constitution being in the hands of morsi and the muslim brotherhood and have made big stinks about it this whole time. just because western media wasnt paying attention doesn't mean nobody was. i was. were y'all?

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:29 AM

20. The "secular revolutionaries who sparked the arab spring"

 

in Egypt bombed a Coptic church in Alexandria during holiday services on Jan. 1, 2011 and killed 21 people in the process:


The moment of the attack - Footage courtesy the al-Qiddissin Church
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12101748

That's what sparked the "Arab Spring" in Egypt if you'll recall that glorious moment. Yes I was paying attention, and I knew exactly what was coming: destabilization and regime change, and sure enough, that's just what happened.

So tell me, do you support the "secular revolutionaries" who bombed that church?

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:28 AM

27. Utterly ridiculous and false n/t

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Response to Catherina (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:53 PM

28. I wouldn't call a church bombing with 21 fatalities ridiculous.

 

And if you have any evidence that my account of that event is "false" please post it.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #28)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:39 AM

29. No reason to bring up facts.

 

The Copts will be massacred under sharia law.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:53 AM

25. And it is for this reason

Egypt doesn't have a long-established Bill of Rights based Constitution for reference and stability


that Egyptians will probably favor Sharia.
It is the tradition of the country, just as the Bill of Rights is ours.
Sharia is their reference and stability, and they believe it is divine and flawless to boot.
Our humanism and tolerance, our acceptance of our own frailties, are no match for their desire to implement their concept of perfection.
I see passionate people everywhere.
And they are ugly.


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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:30 PM

5. It's pure shit-stirring at this point.

 

The referendum is a week away. If they don't like the rules they should have spoken up sooner. In any case, is Obama less president because he only won 50.4% of the popular vote on Nov. 6? Nope. Even the "British-based expert on Egypt" isn't recommending moving the goal posts at this late date, but somebody is clearly trying to either prevent the Dec. 15 referendum from taking place, or if it does, to delegitimize it, and if you want my opinion it's the James Bond contingent of a certain sceptered isle that's itching to snatch the Suez canal and Egyptian gas fields.

Re. Islamic government: whether a gov't is good or bad depends on other factors. Either they tolerate diversity and dissent or they don't. Plenty of Islamic gov'ts have in the past. So that doesn't bother me, and if it actually bothered the 007 crowd they wouldn't have railroaded Mubarak out of his job in the first place.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:00 AM

15. Obama has not taken it upon himself to rewrite our Constitution.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:39 AM

17. He didn't need to.

 

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:36 PM

9. I'm with you

 

let the people decide

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Response to njcamden_25884 (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:39 PM

12. Thanks njcamden,

 

and welcome to DU!

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:25 PM

10. Majority of Egyptians support chopping off the hand of a thief in recent poll.

 

This is shariah law for stealing a quarter of a dinar or an egg.

I guess that's okay, huh? After all, the starving person had it coming. Who are we to question the majority? Cruel and unusual punishment is all in the eye of the beholder. There's no need for judicial review, huh? And while we're at it, if a majority vote that the Moon is made of Swiss cheese, then it is.

Shariah law on theft -----

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=articles&id=136791

And while we're at it, since Morsi took over, Egyptian women have been under increasing assault from mobs who think they can get away with it under Islamic rules. I guess that's okay too, right? After all. Majority rules, right? This was a problem in Egypt long before Morsi, but it seems to have gotten worse since he rose to power. Oh well. Can't argue with the majority, now can we?

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/05/15675200-men-dont-have-to-worry-about-being-caught-sex-mobs-target-egypts-women?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=9

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Response to wellspring (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:38 PM

11. No poll on your first link, and I stopped reading the NBC story

 

after "sex mobs." Come on, you can do better than that. I know you can.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:55 PM

13. The poll is from a few months ago. Sorry, no link.

 

Maybe you're living in a bubble about the hatred of women in certain societies.

Some quarters of America, for instance.

Keep up with the times much?

Like 13th Century maybe?

Wait a minute. Here we go:

From Pew Research:

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion."

http://www.pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims-around-the-world-divided-on-hamas-and-hezbollah/

So I guess it's settled. Majority rules. Let's all stone adulterers and chop off hands of thieves. After all. We can't go against the majority.




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Response to wellspring (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:08 AM

14. Right, Pew, the outfit that claimed Obama's support

 

by women and African Americans "collapsed" to the tune of 10 points the day after the first debate. I vividly remember Andy Kohut, then president of Pew, reciting that inane bullshit on NPR in a completely serious tone like he was reporting the latest scientific discovery. Clown.

Yeah, Pew research. Good times.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:43 AM

18. Pew is a widely respected polling firm. It does not have a conservative bias.

They may have been right or wrong on the poll you question, (Romney gained a lot of credibility and Obama's performance was not good in that debate) but it does your argument little good to request a poll link from a poster and then trash a respected poll when it is provided.

If one trashes a Pew poll because it does not support them, it is likely you would have trashed any poll from any polling company that conflicted with your point you of view. Why ask for a poll link if you really don't care what it says?

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Response to pampango (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:51 AM

19. Fine, it's respected. And I've personally heard the president lie his ass off

 

on NPR. So clearly Pew tells us what Pew wants us to know, and anyway the idea of Andy and his team of phonebankers conducting any kind of reliable "poll" of Pakistani and Egyptian Muslims is beyond absurd.

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Response to pampango (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:37 AM

23. Well

 

I'm trashing because the guy in charge of Pew changed the methods because of criticism and pressure from those on the right. He responded to the criticism Pew had too many Democrats in their methodology and started over representing whites, specifically older whites and those in the South. In one of Pews later Polls, they only registered little to none Hispanics because of this pressure from the right. One person made that decision to alter their methods and money had a lot to do with it. I particularly criticised Pew when they changed their methods. They still are pressured by those at the top with money.

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Response to allrevvedup (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:42 AM

21. Oh, people change their constitutions by simple majority vote in most democracies?

Bullshit. There is nothing fundamentally contradictory about requiring greater consensus than 51% for the establishment of a new constitutional order

The very fact that changing a constitution requires a 2/3s majority in the vast majority of constitional democracies reflects the widespread understanding that a constitution is not simply a reflection of simple majority will.

The fact is, the constitutions of many older countries were written without any mandate sought by popular vote. And the successful ones were written with the explicit intent of creating a marketplace of ideas rather than entrenching popular prejudices at the time of writing. Most democratic constitutions contain measures explicitly intended to prevent a tyranny of the majority.

When South Africa's new constitution (one of the most liberal in the world) was drafted it was done with the consensus of representatives of all significant *groups* (political/ethnic/religious) even though some of those groups were quite small. Both the humanist ideology of the dominant liberation group and the tension between the different interests involved produced a document that charged future governments with fostering and protecting freedom of belief, speech and association as well as equal protection before the law for all minority groups (including even explicit protection for sexual orientation and enshrining woman's right to make their own reproductive choices). The resulting document did *not* represent the sentiments of the majority (given a choice, the majority of South Africans would remove reproductive rights and equal protection for gays). But it was precisely because the process was not filtered through simple majoratarion logic that those clauses were included - to protect progressive women and gays from a tyranny of the majority.

The Brotherhood's constitution is the reverse of that document (and yes I've taken the time to read it). Its a horrible foundation for a constitutional democracy. The opposition is 100% right. Its absurd to propose that 51% is sufficient consensus for a consittutional document. Secularists and Christians walked out of the constitutional process precisely because they began the process in the good faith understanding that significant minorities would have the same voice they had in the South African process, then discovered that the Salafists and Brotherhood took their 2% advantage as a mandate to effect a tyranny of the majority and created a theocracy that is explicitly subordinated in some ways to an unelected group of Sharia scholars, which is already undemocratic.

Its a very similar scenario to Algeria several years ago, where the military prevented an elected Islamist group from taking power and forced a new election (as well as banning the group from running). If you don't bother examining the details of that history, you might naively rant about the subversion of democracy. But the military's decision was based on the fact that the group in question explicitly and overtly stated their intention to use their democratic success to bring an end to democracy and institute a religious state governed by religious law. The current situation in Egypt is a variation on the same theme.

Note: I don't make the claim that Islamism qua Islamism naturally produces this outcome. Turkey's Erdogan has shown that moderate Islamism and democracy can be compatible. But Morsi's species of Islamism appears to have a profoundly limited understanding of what democracy is supposed to be

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Response to FarrenH (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:53 AM

26. I think

 

people believe Democracy is created in a vacuum and one of the biggest reasons I disagreed with George W. Bush's and now President Obama's apparent notion, that you can force Democracy on a region, with cultural and religious ties, which flourished for Centuries.

Even the U.S. Constitution in its present state was not created in a vacuum. People fought and died for the current freedoms, they have in the Constitution and still are fighting for more rights. Every time people refer to our original founders of the Constitution act like events like the Civil War and Civil Rights movement never happened in U.S. History. Our own Constitution changed after the deaths of over 600,000 Americans. To think this will happen in Egypt or anywhere else in the Old World in a vacum, is illogical. Even Europe went through centuries, to get where they are on Human Rights. So the U.S. needs to just let nature take its course and not think they are God. We can only encourage change and let them settle their own affairs. That is just the way it is.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:03 PM

2. Secular governance, not theocracy, is the best future for the world.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 08:26 PM

8. and for egypt. spot on.

 

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:12 AM

16. We can only hope

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:52 AM

22. Why is anyone surprised?

 

The MB's plan was always a sharia state.

Man , I'd hate to be a woman , Christian , leftist or a Jew in that country. You're in for a world of sheer misery.

On edit... It really won't be that bad in Egypt ....at least no compared to the horror happening in Sweden.

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Response to zellie (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:46 AM

24. +1

Man , I'd hate to be a woman , Christian , leftist or a Jew in that country. You're in for a world of sheer misery.


All things are possible under the banner of heaven!
What is the meaning of order, or chaos for that matter, when God's law prevails?
Law without reason or thought really is the easiest way to go, the wide path that claims to be straight.



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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:28 AM

30. A real-time example of religion fucking up society...

Hope somebody is taking notes-

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