Sunday, January 12, 2014

Egypt Votes This Week

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

I'll bet almost nobody knows that last Thursday, Egyptian expats living all over the world were able to vote on the new proposed Egyptian constitution.

And on January 14 and 15 the entire country of Egypt will vote on the constitution as a referendum.

While it is undeniable that there have been violent clashes recently in Egypt and it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed in Egypt, strange as it may seem, all of it has been done in the name of democracy. Democracy must prevent non-democratic forces from taking over which is exactly what happened when Morsi was elected - and Egyptian leaders today are determined to see democracy thrive in their country.

The proposed constitution is called a draft charter. It uses moderate Islam as a foundation for legislation.
Interim President Adly Mansour has been on national Egyptian radio and television urging people to come out and vote for the referendum and to "lead the ship of the nation to the shores of safety."

An Arab country like Egypt needs to have a constitution and that constitution needs to be loosely based on Islamic tradition. Egypt cannot be a secular society, it must try to marry the valued and essential traditions of Islam with modern democratic rights.

Sounds easy ... but turning theory into a reality will be very difficult, especially as Islamic tradition confronts modern human rights. 

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