Technical committee to propose radical changes to Egypt’s 2012 constitution

File photo: Members of the constitutional assembly attend a session at the Shura Council building in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (Photo: AP)

File photo: Members of the constitutional assembly attend a session at the Shura Council building in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (Photo: AP)

By Gamal Essam El-Din:

A 10-member technical committee entrusted with amending Egypt’s 2012 constitution has almost finished its task. The committee was formed under Article 28 of the constitutional declaration issued by Interim President Adly Mansour 8 July and is headed by Mansour’s legal advisor, Ali Awad.
In a press conference Sunday, Awad told parliamentary correspondents that the committee will finish its work Monday, with the new draft constitution expected to be announced Wednesday. The new constitution will form the bedrock of Egypt’s new post-30 June revolution’s political roadmap, aimed at turning the country into a fully democratic state under civilian rule.
Sources close to the committee told Ahram Online Sunday that after almost one month of thorough revision, the committee’s members concluded that “fundamental changes must be introduced to 2012 Islamist-backed constitution.”
“The 2012 constitution was drafted under the former regime of the Muslim Brotherhood to grant Islamists an upper hand and a final say in Egypt’s political future, and this must be changed now,” a committee source told Ahram Online on condition of anonymity. He added that “When the people revolted 30 June, their main goals were not confined to removing Mohamed Morsi from power, but also changing the fundamental pillars of the religious tyranny the Muslim Brotherhood regime tried its best to impose on Egypt.”
Within this context, the source revealed that members of the committee reached consensus that the new constitution must impose a ban on political parties based on religious foundations.
This would mark a return back to Article 5 of 2007’s constitutional amendments introduced by the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. It stated that, “It is not permitted to pursue any political activity or establish any political parties within any religious frame of reference (marja’iyya) or on any religious basis or on the basis of gender or origin.”
The committee source said, “The return to the 2007 constitution’s Article 5 was necessary after we saw that dozens of political parties were clearly formed on religious foundations and that their main objective was to turn Egypt into a religious state.”
The source explained that “the anticipated ban gained momentum after the committee received requests and proposals from more than 400 political, economic and social institutions, pressing hard for the necessity of safeguarding Egypt against Islamist factions trying to change the civil nature of the country into a religious oligarchy.”
The source, however, argued that “as a return back to a constitutional article that was drafted by the Mubarak regime is expected to stir up a lot of controversy, the new constitution will keep Article 2 of 2012’s Islamist-backed constitution — which states that Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation — in place.”
Chairman of the committee Ali Awad told parliamentary correspondents last week that Article 2 on Islamic Sharia will be retained “in order to stress the Islamic identity of Egypt.” 
The article, however, will be primarily maintained so as not to give a reason to Islamist factions — especially the ultraconservative Salafist party of El-Nour — to boycott the next stage’s of the political roadmap. Chairman of El-Nour Younis Al-Qadi warned last week that “the party would withdraw from the upcoming political process if it found out that the articles stressing Egypt’s Islamic identity were revoked from the next constitution.”
According to the source, most political institutions have recommended that “if it is necessary to keep the Islamic Sharia article in place as a nod to Islamists like El-Nour, it is by no means necessary to maintain the 2012 constitution’s separate article (Article 219) that delivers an interpretation of Islamic Sharia.”
Mohamed Abul-Ghar, chairman of the Egyptian Democratic Socialist Party and a member of the National Salvation Front that helped lead the 30 June revolution against the regime of Mohamed Morsi, told Ahram Online that “while Article 2 on Islamic Sharia was first instituted by late President Anwar El-Sadat in 1980 and has never faced objections from most political forces since then, it is by no means plausible to turn the constitution into a religious national charter by filling it with as many Islamist articles as possible.” “Article 219 leaves Islamic Aharia clearly hostage to medieval interpretations that could give legitimacy to the ideology of Islamist radicalism and jihadism,” Abul-Ghar argued.
Article 219 of the 2012 constitution states: “The principles of Islamic Sharia include its generally-accepted interpretations, its fundamental and jurisprudential rules, and its widely considered sources as stated by the schools of Sunna and Gamaa.”
Committee sources also told Ahram Online that there is a general tendency that “the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, would be scrapped.” “Most political factions also press for the elimination of this council, which was exploited by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies over one year to impose their Islamist ideology on the country,” the source said, adding: “Not to mention that this council cost the state budget too much money at a time of severe economic crisis.”
Joining forces, Abul-Ghar told Ahram Online that “since it was created by late President Anwar El-Sadat to strike a chord with his Islamist foes in 1980, the Shura Council has been always exploited by successive regimes to impose hegemony on the Egyptian press and exercise political monopoly.” The Muslim Brotherhood was no exception. The group exploited its majority in the council in 2012 to “Brotherhoodise national press institutions and the state-owned Radio and Television Union (known as Maspero) and gain legislative powers to Islamise society.”
Read more at Al Ahram

The Islamization of Germany in 2012

Islamization of Germanyby Soeren Kern

Opinion polls consistently show that growing numbers of ordinary German citizens are worried about the consequences of decades of multicultural policies, as well the emergence of a parallel legal system based on Islamic Sharia law.

Post-Christian Europe became noticeably more Islamized during 2012.

As the rapidly growing Muslim population makes its presence felt in towns and cities across the continent, Islam is transforming the European way of life in ways unimaginable only a few years ago.

Some of the more notable Islam-related controversies during 2012 occurred in Germany, where the Muslim population has jumped from around 50,000 in the early 1980s to more than 4.5 million today.

What follows is a brief chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Germany during 2012.

In January, German authorities welcomed the start of the New Year by officially confirming that they are monitoring German-language Internet websites that are critical of Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe.

In a January 4, 2012 interview with the Berliner Zeitung and the Frankfurter Rundschau, Manfred Murck, the director of the Hamburg branch of the German domestic intelligence agency (the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV)), said his organization was studying whether German citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam on the Internet are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of “breaching” the German constitution.

The BfV’s move marked a significant setback for the exercise of free speech in Germany and came amid a months-long smear campaign led by a triple alliance of left-wing German multicultural elites, sundry Muslim groups and members of the mainstream media, who have been relentless in their efforts to discredit the so-called counter-jihad movement (also known as the “Islamophobes”) in Germany.

In a country stifled by decades of political correctness, the counter-jihad activists and bloggers have been giving a voice to millions of frustrated Germans who see the harm being wrought by the cult of multiculturalism.

Opinion polls consistently show that growing numbers of ordinary German citizens are worried about the consequences of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged mass immigration from Muslim countries. Germans are especially concerned about the refusal of millions of Muslim immigrants to integrate into German society, as well as the emergence of a parallel legal system in Germany based on Islamic Sharia law.

Also in January, Muslims in Duisburg, one of the most Islamized cities in Germany, clamored for the right to turn empty churches into mosques. All of the churches are located in the gritty Hamborn and Marxloh districts in northern Duisburg where Islam has already replaced Christianity as the dominant religion, and where several Catholic churches have been abandoned.

In Germany as a whole, more than 400 Roman Catholic churches and more than 100 Protestant churches have been closed since 2000, according to one estimate. Another 700 Roman Catholic churches are slated to be closed over the next several years.

By contrast, Germany is now home to more than 200 mosques (including more than 40 mega-mosques), 2,600 Muslim prayer halls and a countless number unofficial mosques. Another 128 mosques are currently under construction, according to the Zentralinstitut Islam-Archiv, a Muslim organization based in Germany.

Meanwhile, on January 16 one of the oldest universities in Germany inaugurated the country’s first taxpayer-funded department of Islamic theology. The Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Tübingen is the first of four planned Islamic university centers in Germany.

The German government claims that by controlling the curriculum, the school, which is to train Muslim imams and Islamic religion teachers, will function as an antidote to “hate preachers.” (Most imams currently in Germany are from Turkey and many of them do not speak German.)

But the idea has been fiercely criticized by those who worry the school will become a gateway for Islamists who will introduce a hardline brand of Islam into the German university system.

In February, the interior minister of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Jochen Hartloff, said he favored the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in Germany. In an interview with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Hartloff, a Socialist, said that using the Islamic moral code “is certainly conceivable when it comes to questions pertaining to civil law.” Hartloff said using Sharia law to resolve family law issues such as alimony, divorce or financial contracts “could have a pacifying effect” in Germany.

Hartloff’s comments were seconded by Michael Frieser, an expert on integration issues for the Conservatives in the German parliament. He told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he has nothing against Muslim immigrants seeking judgments according to their own legal systems. “That can ultimately serve the cause of integration,” Frieser said.

In March, Muslim mobs in Berlin threatened to “burn down the neighborhood” after a German fatally stabbed an 18-year-old Muslim, in what police deemed was an act of self defence. The March 9 incident occurred in the heavily Islamized Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln, when the German, Sven N., tried to stop a fight between two groups of Turks over who should get a football that had been kicked over a fence. The Turks quickly turned their anger against the German. After a group of 20 Muslims armed with knives and daggers challenged Sven, he stabbed one of the attackers, Yusef Al-Abed, in the heart. More than 3,000 Muslims attended Yusuf’s funeral, evoking scenes of the Gaza Strip (photos here).

In April, Islamic radicals launched an unprecedented nationwide campaign to distribute 25 million copies of the Koran, translated into the German language, with the goal of placing one Koran into every household in Germany, free of charge.

The mass proselytization campaign — called Project “Read!” — was organized by dozens of Islamic Salafist groups located in cities and towns throughout Germany.

Salafism is a branch of radical Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia that seeks to establish a Sunni Islamic Caliphate (Islamic Empire) across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and eventually the entire world. The Caliphate would be governed exclusively by Islamic Sharia law, which would apply both to Muslims and to non-Muslims. Salafists believe, among other anti-Western doctrines, that democracy, because it is a man-made form of government, must be destroyed.

Although Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, regards the Salafist groups as a threat to German security, Salafists have free reign in the country, and Salafist preachers are known regularly to preach hatred against the West in the mosques and prayer centers that are proliferating across Germany.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

Mainstream American Muslim Jurists’ Blueprint for Undermining America’s Legal System

By Andrew Bostom:

Salah al-Sawy, mainstream AMJA “jurist”, expresses his patriotic views on US citizenship:

As for obtaining citizenships in light of circumstances of Muslims today who are residing outside the lands of Islam — on the condition that they do not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country so that they become loyal to all their allies and an enemy to all their enemies — and obtaining the citizenship is considered a required means in order to organize the affairs of Muslims who already live there while ensuring fulfilling vows and agreements between them and host countries, and exists due to urgent necessities and needs and this Muslim kept his loyalty to Allaah and His Messenger, then it would not be farfetched to say that it would be permissible.

***

Since all of the earth was bequeathed by Allah to “the best of humanity”—i.e., the Muslims (Koran 3:110)—the ancient, but timeless jihad war imperative is to render the entire globe “dar al Islam”—territory under Muslim suzerainty, and governed by Allah’s “law”, the totalitarian Sharia.  An explicit, if “legalistic” statement of this goal is the 1990 Cairo Declaration, or Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, drafted and subsequently ratified by all the Muslim member nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), re-named the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on June 28, 2011.

Now a 56 state collective which includes every Islamic nation on earth, the OIC, currently headed by Turkey’s Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, thus represents the entire Muslim umma (or global community of individual Muslims), and is the largest single voting bloc in the United Nations (UN).  Both the preamble and concluding articles (24 and 25) make plain that the OIC’s Cairo Declaration is designed to supersede Western conceptions of human rights as enunciated, for example, in the US Bill of Rights, and the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which Allah made as the best community [Koran 3:110] and which gave humanity a universal and well-balanced civilization, in which harmony is established between hereunder and the hereafter, knowledge is combined with faith, and to fulfill the expectations from this community to guide all humanity which is confused because of different and conflicting beliefs and ideologies and to provide solutions for all chronic problems of this materialistic civilization…Article 22: (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Sharia. (a1) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Sharia…Article 24: All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia…Article 25: The Islamic Sharia is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

These statements capture the indelible influence of the Islamic religious law Sharia—the Cairo Declaration claiming supremacy based on “divine revelation,” which renders sacred and permanent the notion of inequality between the community of Allah, and the infidels. Thus one can see clearly the differences between the Cairo Declaration, which sanctions gross limitations on freedom (i.e., abrogating freedom of conscience and speech, via “apostasy” and “blasphemy” laws), and legal inequalities inherent in the Sharia, and its Western human rights counterparts (the US Bill of Rights; the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights), which guarantee freedom of conscience and expression, and do not refer to any specific religion or to the superiority of any group over another, stressing the absolute equality of all human beings before the law.

My colleague Translating Jihad has just rendered into English an Arabic-language paper published by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) in 2007, and presented at their 2008 careers conference in Houston. As he observes, aptly, in his introduction to the posting, “Credit goes to the Center for Security Policy for discovering this paper and bringing it to me for translation.”

The mission statement  of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) maintains the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…” With regard to the Sharia, specifically, AMJA’s stated purpose is to “clarify the rulings of the sharia which are relevant for those who live in America.” AMJA is well-accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community.  The Islamic scholars affiliated with this group maintain influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States. Translating Jihad compiled a list of some of their prominent members, including the names of universities and other organizations with which they’re affiliated, accessed from AMJA’s website:

  • Mohammad Naeem AlSaei, University of Texas, American Open University (AOU) (Virginia);
  • Waleed Basyouni, North American Imam Federation (NAIF) (Arizona), Texas Dawah Convention, AlMaghrib Institute (Texas);
  • Hatem AlHaj, Sharia Academy of America (Florida), Albert Lea Medical Center (Minnesota), NAIF, Islamic Jurisprudence Council of Minnesota;
  • Waleed Al-Maneese, Dar-al-Farooq Islamic Center (Minnesota), University of Minnesota, AOU, NAIF;
  • Muwaffak Al Ghaylany, Islamic Center in Grand Blank City (Minnesota), Shari`a Academy in America (Florida), NAIF:
  • Main Al-Qudah,  MAS Katy Center (Texas), AOU, Islamic American University (Minnesota), Al-Yarmook University (Iraq);
  • Salah Alsawy, Institute of Arabic and Islamic Sciences (Virginia), AOU, Sharia Academy (Florida), Al-Azhar University (Egypt), Umm Al Qura University (Saudi Arabia); and
  • Muhammad Adam Alsheikh, Al Rahmah Mosque (Maryland), Sudanese courts.
  • Alsheikh, Al Rahmah Mosque (Maryland), Sudanese courts.

Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its seventh annual American conference in Houston (October 15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates (here), “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”; here), or adulterers (by stoning to death, here), and condone marital rape. Even more ominously, another Arabic-language fatwa from AMJA’s Dr. Salah Al-Sawy leaves open the possibility for offensive jihad against America and the West, as soon as Muslims are strong enough to do so. When asked whether “the Islamic missionary effort in the West … [was] to the point where it could take advantage of offensive jihad,” Al-Sawy ruled:

The Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring toward defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows best.

It is also of grave concern that AMJA, as an American organization, offers only grudging and conditional support to the fundamental notions of acquiring citizenship in, and swearing allegiance to, the U.S. and our Sharia-antithetical governing legal system. Responding to the query: “Is acquiring an American citizenship lawful or prohibited?” AMJA issued fatwa #77223:

As for optionally obtaining citizenship of a non-Muslim country it is definitely prohibited without a doubt, moreover it could be a form of apostasy or main means leading to apostasy because willingly accepting the laws of disbelievers and obeying it without any valid excuse or enforcement, or ignorance is considered a nullifier to Tawheed and Islam, as long as the proof has been established upon this person and the matter and its consequences are as I clarified. As for obtaining citizenships in light of circumstances of Muslims today who are residing outside the lands of Islam — on the condition that they do not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country so that they become loyal to all their allies and an enemy to all their enemies — and obtaining the citizenship is considered a required means in order to organize the affairs of Muslims who already live there while ensuring fulfilling vows and agreements between them and host countries, and exists due to urgent necessities and needs and this Muslim kept his loyalty to Allaah and His Messenger, then it would not be farfetched to say that it would be permissible.

Now, Translating Jihad puts what one might wish to deem as these circumscribed, “purely Islamic” rulings, in a more disturbing—and entirely unacceptable, seditious context. AMJA’s own words make plain the organization’s long term commitment to superseding the US legal code with its antithesis, a Sharia-based system.

Read the rest…