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04 December 2012


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Clifford Kiracofe

Very interesting and helpful post.

He says significantly, "The drafters added Article 219, which stipulates that ‘the principles of Islamic law comprise its general rules and jurisprudential method as understood in the Sunni schools’. Egypt was never so sectarian as to openly express Sunnism as the exclusive source of its Islamic tradition. This Article is clearly set against Shi‘is, despite their constituting an insignificant minority in Egypt, but also against Copts and any denomination that is not Sunni."

Awaiting clarification of US Egypt policy from the Israelists at State and White House...what do Hillary and O have to say?

William R. Cumming

Which of the MENA nation-states will be the first to project its power into adjacent neighbors or further?

My guess is Iraq not Iran!

Several years back on this blog in comments I raised the issue of control of various nation-states airspace in MENA and in particular Iraq! Can we not interdict Iranian resupply of the ASSAD regime?

Charles I

I think the deferral clause, making constitutionally enshrined basic law subject to "other laws" amounts to one giant privative clause for the whole thing. The difference between the ratification thresh hold - 50%+1 - and the greater amendment thresh hold says it all imho. Though amendment shouldn't be a simple thing, this looks lkike a complete set up - take it and never leave it.

"For one article to be amended under any constitution, including the current Draft Constitution, the process is far more complicated, with votes going through presidential and parliamentary deliberations, qualified majorities, and a robust civil society involvement. Article 225 is one line-long. In contrast, the Amendment procedure adopted by the Draft Constitution is ten lines long, with a complex procedure that regulate debates, deadlines, majorities before any referendum is considered. (Arts. 217, 218 DC"

Clifford Kiracofe

"Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered at Egypt's presidential palace and in Tahrir Square Tuesday to protest a draft constitution and a recent decree by President Mohamed Morsi giving him sweeping powers.

"This constitution is all wrong. It violates freedoms and was only created by the Brotherhood and Salafists for their own benefit," said Hanan Sabri, a housewife, as she walked to Tahrir Square, the site of mass protests against the recently issued draft constitution....

"This is the first time I join a protest," Ahmed Ibrahim, another protester at the rally, told Ahram Online. "I am so angry, I feel that the Muslim Brotherhood are dominating everything and taking complete control of the country."

..."Down with the Supreme Guide [of the Muslim Brotherhood]," they yelled, while waving Egyptian flags and banners that read: "We reject splitting the country in two using religion," and, "We reject the constitutional declaration."


Mallat is a great guy; he is from a really prominent Maronite family and a solid scholar on his own stead.
I am very happy to see the protests in Egypt but I am doubtful that they will lead to much.
Syrian end-game appears near. I incline towards Col. Lang's view that chem. weapons are a red herring meant to legitimize Western/Jordanian intervention. I bet the Turks stay out-too incendiary for them to intervene (same for Israel). should be interesting!


One man, one vote, one time..........as Col. Lang said.

Babak Makkinejad

There is no nation-state in the Middle East, none, zilch, nada.

And Iraq's days of projecting power is over not to be seen again for decades, if ever again.

As for your last paragraph:

"To What End?"

Are you suggesting US shoot down civilian air-craft over a sovereign state?

Or are you suugesting US airplanes force these planes to land outside of Iraq - without adequate fuel-supply?

Are you mad or are you pretending to be so as a form of provocation on this forum?

Babak Makkinejad

I think you are reading too much into this.

Mubarak was more antagonistic to Shia's of Egypt.

Please see below:


I think the Aricle 219 is essentially declaring Sunni Islam (any variant of the 4-schools) to be the official state religion.

Articles 14 and 15, in my opinion, have much more negative bearing on individual liberty than many others in that draft.

It is interesting that the draft constitution does not restrict the President's religion: he could be a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jews.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that the Arab polities are enetring or have entered into an era of mass politics; that hard or soft dictatorial structures of governance are disintegrating.

I also think outside of the common desire for addressing poverty and squalor, there is also a deep and abiding desire within the populace for Islamic Piety in their leaders.

I think Democracy, as understood and practiced by North Americans and Western Europeans is centuries into the future.

Nevertheless, one has to start from somewhere; Mamluk style of governance is no longer possible.

The ramifications of my opinion is that, on the practical level, it is best for Western States (NATO states) to refrain from pursuing the policy of encouraging a secular or liberal order in these Arab states; inevitably such a policy choice will clash with the Islamic thrust of these new developments and leads to further antagonisms and acrimony.

Take a page and chapter out the playbook of Japan, Korea, China, and even India: accept that these people have an alien tradition and will go their own way.

Clifford Kiracofe

Here is a short article by article analysis by a specialist on the Copts:


I imagine more searching and detailed analyses will be forthcoming as specialists work on the issue.

Meanwhile, it would appear some Egyptians are not pleased.

Clifford Kiracofe

"“Morsi bears full responsibility for what is happening. If he doesn’t intervene to stop the bloodshed, we will turn to the legitimacy of the revolution, not the constitution,” ElBaradei told a news conference.

ElBaradei was flanked by former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, both of whom have joined the reform campaigner in establishing a “National Salvation Front” to oppose Morsi’s controversial decree...."


So when will the US media begin to present in depth interviews with Al Baradei, Amr Moussa, and Hamdeen Sabahi?

And when do we hear something serious from President Obama, a former professor of constitutional law at UC, and Hillary, a lawyer? Why hasn't Hillary commented on the implications for Egyptian women of the Islamist constitution? She has been strident elsewhere on women's rights. Also as a supposed "Christian" once active in the United Methodist church, what about the Christians in Egypt, Hillary?

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