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Egypt: Copts Reject Call to Amend 2nd Article of Constitution
Coptic intellectuals  rejected the call of Bishop Murqos to amend the second Article of the Egyptian Constitution which states the Islamic Sharia is the source of legislation Dr. Rafik Habib, a Coptic intellectual, refused this call from Murqos, the spokesman of Egyptian church, for amending the article of the Islamic Sharia. Habib said in statements to Ikhwanweb that
Saturday, January 20,2007 00:00
by Ikhwanweb

Coptic intellectuals  rejected the call of Bishop Murqos to amend the second Article of the Egyptian Constitution which states the Islamic Sharia is the source of legislation

Dr. Rafik Habib, a Coptic intellectual, refused this call from Murqos, the spokesman of Egyptian church, for amending the article of the Islamic Sharia.

Habib said in statements to Ikhwanweb that this article reflects the consensus of the nation, particularly Muslims, pointing out that any change in it should reflect the views of the people; he rejects that a certain group or faction in the nation imposes its own view on all Egyptians.

Habib added that the Copts should realize that the Muslims have right of seeking judgments according to their sharia, and that the Copts have right of seeking judgments according to their creed, in addition to not imposing the view of the other’s creed  on them, something that the Islamic Sharia approved (of not applying Islamic Sharia on the People of the Book.

Habib stressed that the Copts have right of ensuring that there is a real equality among Muslims while the Islamic Sharia is applied, or under the rule of any political movement to reach a real justice which materializes when Muslims and Copts seek judgments of their creeds in addition to the equality in rights and duties to all sections of the society.

Habib pointed out that Abba Murqus timing of the call has a serious indication; he released it at a time in which the historical bases for the stability of the Egyptian group are prone to change, making many Coptic and Muslim sides think that with the US domination over the region and with the weakness of the political, economic and military situations in it, what was impossible to change in the past can be changed nowadays; they began with calling for changing the main values of the Egyptian society, which is a serious threat.

Habib mentioned that the official media should be a national media that serve all the Egyptian spectrum, not only the regime.

The Coptic intellectual added that the Copts account for no more than 10% of the Egyptian population, while the rate that Abba Morqus declared is overblown and unreal, because the church could not carry out a complete census on the number of Christians who need huge capabilities that the church can’t afford; also, all old censuses on the number of Christians numbers carried out by the British occupation and the following ones indicted that the rate the Copts is steady.

For his part, Sameh Fawzi, another Coptic intellectual, rejected these statements and said that:" We must admit that we- as Copts- are a minority in Egypt; so, the minority doesn’t have the right to cancel or amend a main constitutional article state the reference of this country.

Fawzi added that:" These are debates which are related to the alleged discrimination against the Copts, although the situation on the ground is against these allegations; the Jews were in Egypt before the Copts; if every sect will say that it is the aborigine of the country, because it belongs to a specific religion, our problems, as Christians and Muslims, won’t be solved. Fawzi said that the solution to problem is a civil constitution and a civil country that allows a full participation for all citizens.

Fawzi pointed out that such statements increase the gap between the Muslims and the Copts and serves only extremists on both sides; we as Copts reject these statements and demand, not amending the second article of the Egyptian constitution, but achieving the real concept of citizenship .

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