Remember, the most potent poison is the attractive kind.
The following is part of a note I initially wrote on Facebook on Feb 20th 2011 called "Enough Misinformation, Use your Minds and Think!", that I wrote because I was tired of people spreading bullshit. I've decided to split it up and post it here, the following intro was the intro for the note.
Ok, im really getting sick and tired of people spreading around rumors, without actually doing any research, so here, let's go.
(Note: Before you think of telling me "You're full of shit" I actually did research. Unlike 99% of the people out there. So even if i might be wrong, I at least bothered to do some research, and if you can prove that i'm wrong, I will gladly add your proof and admit my mistake)
(Feel free to copy, share do whatever you like with this note, Just credit me please)
The Article 2 Debate and why it's silly.
So lots of people believe that article 2 should be kept in as is, as they fear removing it or modifying it, would mean a loss of islamic identity. In fact some of these people demand it should be added even if we get an entirely new constituion. Now let me explain why that is quite silly.
First some history.
Ever since a few hundred years after the Islamic "Fath" (liberation) of Egypt, Egypt has been an Islamic country.
Note that the Islamic movements at the time, had no problem with the 1954 constitution that included no mention of anything similar to article 2 of the current constitution.
Article 2 was amended in 1980 by former president Anwar el Saddat. Meaning from 1971 to 1980, we didn't even HAVE this statement as is in the constitution. In the 1980 Amendments, Sadat also increased presidential powers radically.
The amendment was :
From "Sharia is A principal source of Egyptian law" to "Sharia is THE principal source of Egyptian law."
Meaning it changed sharia to be the De Facto AND De Jure source of law.
Now why is that relevant? When Sadat first took power, he had an alliance of sorts with the islamic movements in Egypt, Later on, however, due to the peace agreement with Israel among other issues, that alliance was shattered. Also due to the 1971 constitution, there was no real allowed opposition, except the Islamic movements (That were backed by Saudi Arabia, because after the peace agreement, Saudi Arabia denounced Sadat). So Sadat decided to play a "dirty" Game. He amended the constitution in 1980 to increase his power manifold, and at the same time added Article 2 to the constitution for two reasons:
1- In return for less opposition from the Islamic movements.
2- To portray himself as an "Islamic" leader to pacify the Islamic movements and counter Saudi influence.
Do you realize what that means? It means the only reason article 2 was added in the first place, was because it was a sneaky political move. It had nothing to do with islamic identity. It was ALL politics.
It also means, that the inclusion of that Article indirectly is the reason we've been under a tyranny for 30 years. The people sold away their liberties for the unrequired affirmation that we're an islamic country.
It also means that you're trying to say, that hundreds of years of being an Islamic country, mean nothing whatsoever, and only the last 31 years are relevant.
It also disregards that Turkey is an Islamic country that does not have the same kind of Article in it's constitution.
So are you really trying to tie your religious identity, to a sneaky political move?
Now let's forget the history, considering you might not be convinced yet, and let's talk about the facts NOW.
Don't Forget for a moment, that the "Sharia" is not applied to all aspects of the law anyway, and mainly serves in civil matters (Marriage, Inheritence... etc). The only aspects of our law that have sharia implementation/basis are personal status and Family laws.
(link to the constitution again)
Art.2*: Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).
The main problem with this amendment? The wording. let's break it down to problematic and unproblematic.
"Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language"
There is NOTHING really wrong with this part, In fact other than preserving culture(identity) and language, that part does nothing. In fact, this being left in as is, would be quite fine (and would probably appease most of the idiots on both sides of the argument)
"and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia)"
Now this is the problem. The wording of this part in and of itself is a disaster. Forget for a moment all the arguments for secularism and liberalism (which btw, are NOT in opposition to Islam, Quite the opposite, Islam encourages Secularism, Or do you not know Soowret el Kaferoon? )
The reason it's a problem?
Islam is quite a dynamic religion. In fact almost all the major religious figures agree that the religion in many aspects adapts with time. Not only that, but the religious scholars every period review their interpretation of Islam and reinterpret it based on the current circumstances that may not have existed previously.
Not to mention, Sunni Islam is not the only form of Islam, There is Sufi, Shii'a, Salafi, Wahabbi Sunni, Hambaly, and many more different types.
Sharia in and of itself has many different forms, with religious scholars disagreeing on it all the time.
So which one of these multiple choices do you choose? Which form of Islam and Which form of Sharia do you use?
Let's for the sake of argument assume we use Sharia as provided by the Sunni Azhar.
(Which Historical fact btw, was founded as an institution to spread Shii'a ideology, NOT Sunni Ideology.
See : http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/46851/al-Azhar-University
Namely this part : "al-Azhar University, Arabic Jāmiʿat al-Azhar, chief centre of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world, centred on the mosque of that name in the medieval quarter of Cairo, Egypt. It was founded by the Shīʿite (specifically, the Ismāʿīlī sect) Fāṭimids in 970 ce and was formally organized by 988. " )
It is NO secret whatsoever, that (like the regime) the Azhar (And by extension the Mufti as well) has been rife with corruption for decades, and for the past few decades has served little purpose but to provide artificial religious legitimacy to the Regime. It's leaders (and the Mufti) are assigned based on presidential choice and "wasta" rather than qualification. Most of it's figures have no understanding of basic theological studies like philosophy.
Don't believe me when i say that Mubarak assigned the leaders?
"PRESIDENT Hosni Mubarak appointed Ali Gomaa as the Mufti to replace former Mufti Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, who held the post for less than two years. El-Tayeb has been appointed Al-Azhar University president, taking over from Ahmed Omar Hashem."
To Fix the problems in the Azhar fully, would require radical modifications, AND time (i'm talking around 5-10 years at best)
So tell me this,
Do you really want a Mubark assigned figure, to tell you what your faith is like and how to live?? Someone that was only assigned to the position because he traded away his integrity?
Remember, the head of the Azhar is the same person that said "rebelling against Mubarak is Haram (Religiously prohibitied)" along with the weak statements discouraging protests by Pope Shenouda and the Mufti.
So Do you still think keeping Article 2 in as is, is a good idea? Better question, do you still feel keeping it as is really matters? Do you feel your faith and identity is weak enough, that you need a political paragraph to confirm it?
And if you still don't believe me, Watch a Sheikh (Muslim Scholar) proving my point here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXt_V386Tnw