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Monday, 16 December 2013

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaak Sidrak: Political Islam in Egypt has failed - Vatican Insider

Interview on Vatican Insider

Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak was elected Patriarch of Alexandria’s Coptic Catholics last January. Since then there have been unexpected surprises of all kinds both in Egypt and throughout the Church as a whole. A referendum on the new Constitution will be held before January.

Your Holiness, the new Egyptian draft Constitution still puts forward the principles of Sharia as the “main source” of legislation. Do you see this as a problem?
“It was expected that there was going to be a reference to Sharia law. What matters is how that general legal reference will be interpreted. Article 219 of the previous Constitution introduced by the Muslim Brotherhood said that Koranic law should be interpreted according to early Islamic law. This favours the interpretations offered by the stricter Koranic schools of thought that were close to the Salafists. Now this article has been removed and the interpretation of the principles has been entrusted to the Constitutional Court.”

Are there any new elements that interest Christian communities?

“One new aspect is that the text provides for the protection of the freedom to build places of worship, within the parameters of the law. Christians and Jews will still be allowed to refer to their own canonical principles when it comes to dealing with issues regarding their individual status and their status as a community. We asked for this right to be extended to all minority religious communities. But they clearly didn’t want to leave any space for Shiites and Alawis.”
Read the rest of the interview on line here:
Patriarch Sidrak: Political Islam in Egypt has failed - Vatican Insider

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