Last Updated: Fri Jul 20, 2012 09:34 am (KSA) 06:34 am (GMT)

Egypt’s Azhar backs ‘Christian equivalent’ to Article 2 in the constitution

Al-Azhar wields influence among millions of Sunni Muslims worldwide and offers guidance on issues of faith in Egypt. (Reuters)
Al-Azhar wields influence among millions of Sunni Muslims worldwide and offers guidance on issues of faith in Egypt. (Reuters)

Advisor of the al-Azhar grand sheikh Mohammed Abdel Salam has said that school supports the inclusion in the constitution of a Christian equivalent to Article 2, which states that Islam is the religion of the state.

He said the equivalent would apply to Egypt’s Copts, according to a report by Egypt Independent.

Article 2 of the constitution states: “Islam is the religion of the state, and Arabic is its official language, and the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source for legislation. Christians and Jews shall resort to legislation derived from their own religions.”

The word “principles” had been debated among several religious parties, with Salafis demanding that it would be removed all together, leaving Sharia Law with broader limitations.

While it was agreed that the word would remain, al-Azhar is the point of reference in determining what the implemented “principles” would be.

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb had requested that Article 2 of the 1971 Constitution would not be amended in the new draft, Abdel Salem said.

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