Egypt’s new constitution should preserve the wording of Article 2 of the 1971 Constitution stipulating that the “principles” of Islamic law are the main source of legislation, said the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar on Tuesday, sparking condemnation from Salafi politicians.
At a press conference at his office, Ahmed al-Tayyeb said Al-Azhar’s decisive and final stance is to consider Article2 “untouchable” as it represents “the doctrine and the identity of the nation.”
“We should not allow differences on lexical issues to open the door for sedition”, he said.
As the Constituent Assembly discusses proposed amendments to the article, conservative Islamist groups are adamant that the new constitution should cite Sharia, rather than its principles, as the main source of legislation.
Al-Azhar’s stance has triggered criticism by Islamists, most notably Salafi groups.
The head of the Salafi Asala Party, Adel Afify, considered voting a “yes” vote for the new constitution as a violation of Islam if Article 2 stipulated that only the principles of Sharia would be the main source of legislation.
[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]