As protests continue over the power grab of President Mohammed Morsi, Islamists pushed through a draft constitution without the involvement of Christian or liberal members to give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and add restrictions to free speech, women’s rights, and other civil liberties.
The Constitution will be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days. The assembly went on a marathon session to approve the new Constitution before Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court rules on Sunday on whether to dissolve the panel drafting the Constitution. There was such a rush to beat the court’s ruling that, when objections were made to one of the articles, assembly head Hossam al-Ghiryani just refused to accept the vote, warned of the delay, and ordered another vote with a different outcome — an approach reminiscent of the voting standards used in the recent Democratic National Convention on the party platform.
The draft dropped a provision specifically establishing women’s equality and states that the “principles of Islamic law” will be the basis of law. It details the particular theological doctrines and their rules. It also states that Egypt’s most respected Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, must be consulted on any legislative matters related to Sharia.
With Morsi grabbing virtual dictatorial power and the assembly imposing Islamic law on the nation, Egypt appears to be plunging into extremist policies — while the United States still financially supports the government with massive aid packages.