Egypt’s Salafi and Liberal revolutionaries scuffled with one another on Friday’s protest after Liberals chanted slogans against President Mohammed Mursi, Egypt Independent reported.
The clashes came during the Salafists’ Friday demonstrations in Tahrir to demand a stronger reference to Islamic law or Shariah in Egypt’s new constitution.
The Salafis attacked the Liberals after hearing them chant slogans against Islamists and President Mursi.
“Oh Mursi, you spare tire, we will return you to prison,” said the Liberals, according to the newspaper.
“They said freedom, they said dignity, but all we have seen is remorse,” they chanted, angering Salafi youths more.
Sheikhs taking part in the protests managed to intervene and stop the clashes, the newspaper reported.
About 22 Islamic groups called for Friday’s protest. The size of the protest in Tahrir Square -- up to 500 people -- was limited because the main Salafist groups decided to postpone their demonstration, an AFP journalist said.
The Salafi groups have called earlier for a protest on Oct. 25, but postponed it later on. The main Salafi-led Nour and Asala parties, along with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, refused calls to participate.
On Friday, one stage was set in Tahrir and Islamists waved banners demanding the application of Shariah and the dismissal of the public persecutor, according to the newspaper.
Disputes over Egypt’s new constitution, which will replace the 1971 charter suspended by the military after the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak’s in 2011, remain unresolved.
Fundamentalist Islamists want the new constitution to have the precepts of Shariah as the basis for legislation, a stance rejected by liberal and secular Egyptians.
Contentious topics in the drafting of the new constitution include the role of religion, the status of women and the scope of freedom of expression and faith.
Article 2 of the draft states that “Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Islamic Shariah form the main source of legislation.”
The suspended constitution limited itself to referring to Shariah as the “principal source” of legislation.
Ultraconservative Islamists had asked to replace “the principles of Islamic sharia” by “the rulings of Shariah” or even just “sharia.”
Egypt's powerful and once banned Muslim Brotherhood, from whose ranks President Mohammed Mursi comes, has pledged that the new constitution would make reference to Shariah, but in terminology suggesting a compromise.
On October 23, an Egyptian court meant to rule on the fate of the Islamist-dominated constitutional panel instead referred the case to a superior court which has already expressed its opposition to the draft charter.