World Muslim Congress endorses Egyptian Constitution subject to clarifications and modifications

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World Muslim Congress endorses Egyptian provisional constitution subject to changes and clarifications.

 I am pleased to review Egypt’s provisional constitution, and in good faith endorse it in behalf of world Muslim congress, subject to changes. For a traditional Muslim nation, this document is a major change, and must be acknowledged, there is a new voice of secularism and pluralism in it. On the face of it, the documents look good, and hope there is no hidden meaning buried in this to deceive people.  There is an outright rejection as well as the call for changes.
The real problem is not the provisional document, it is the self proclaimed Pharaoh or Demi God Morsi, who has proclaimed himself to be above law. No one should be above law, if he needs those powers, then his intentions don’t seem to be good, he wants to force it on people against their will. If he believed in the will of the people, then he needs to let the will of the people be reflected, if it means for him to step down, he should step down, rather than get kicked out.  The people have earned this freedom hard, and are not going to let Morsi walk away with it.
The first principle is sound, “Sovereignty is for the people, the sole bearer of the right to set up the authorities, which derive their legitimacy from the people, are subject to the people’s control, are bound by the limits of their mandates and constitutional responsibilities…” 
However article 2, states, “Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language. Principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.”
Is Sharia the source of legislation or the actual law?

There is a legitimate fear with the word Sharia, but the Muslim nations know only one law, the Sharia law, its the generic xerox of laws. In that light, I have no problem with the word, it simply means law to operate the society. However, we need to clarify those details.

Article 4 states, “Al-Azhar Senior Scholars are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law.” Is there another law? Do they mean laws applicable to Muslims as Christians and Jews have their own set of laws as stated in Article 3?  If Muslims have another set of Laws, which one would be applicable in case of a rape; the Saudi understanding requiring 4 male witnesses OR the DNA test will work as a proof?  In case of divorce, can a guy can get up in the middle of the night and send three texts to his wife that he is divorcing her OR follow the guidance of Quran and wait for three menstruation period or three to four months of cooling off time.
We sincerely hope great suggestions from critiques as well as well wishers will be incorporated to make this a document an exemplary constitution. We congratulate the Egyptian people for the effort to honor every one of God’s creation in Egypt. It’s a good foot forward, and may God bless the Egyptian people!

My faith in the people who struggled for freedom in Tahrir Square is equally valid as the skeptics who do not see the sea change in a Muslim nation.

I believe the civility of a nation is determined by how it treats its weak, economically backward, the men and women in ditches, the voiceless, its women and the minorities. Thank God, the Egyptian constitution seems incredibly equitable subject to clarifications. 

It’s a reflection of the Madinah Charter established by the Prophet, and explicitly mirrors US constitution and the Indian Constitution in places.  The constitution has drawn a remarkable balance between individualistic and a collectivist society.

I will review this again, and ask all those who are concerned to critique it with the intention of perfecting it. Our own constitution took nearly 200 years to emancipate to the full meaning of the phrase that all men are equal. We are still not perfect; ask the Native Americans, Black Americans, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and the Latinoimmigrants if they feel all men are equal. 
This document is first of its kind in the Muslim world; though Bangladeshi and Indonesian Panchsheel come close (I have not read the Turkish constitution). This is where Egypt can be a leader in the Islamic world, to pave the way for those freedom seeking nations. 
God bless Egypt and may God give them the courage to adopt this as their constitution with further refinements.  May they lead the Muslim world from darkness of monarchies and dictatorships to the light of pluralistic society, a model provided by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but out of practice now.

The Preamble acknowledges the men and women who fought for their freedom in the Tahrir Square, and women to be treated as equal partners. The paragraph seven reads
, “… and the rights and freedoms of all citizens shall be protected without discrimination”.
Item Six of the principle states, “Women are the sisters of men and hold the fort of motherhood; they are half of society and partners in all national gains and responsibilities”.
Farooq Wazir Ali, responds, “This is like saying: we are partners, “but”. There is no other reason to bring up the role of women in this sense. When they will create the laws, they will use this language to limit the role of women in the society. This language is commonly used by religious leaders to justify their opposition to the freedom of women’s rights.”

However, Article 6, states, “
No political party shall be formed that discriminates on the basis of gender, origin or religion.” and article 5, “Sovereignty is for the people alone and they are the source of authority.” A clarification is needed.

Article 3 – “
The canon principles of Egyptian Christians and Jews are the main source of legislation for their personal status laws, religious affairs, and the selection of their spiritual leaders.” Indeed, it is a reflection of the Madinah treaty; it’s a positive pluralistic Islamic revival. 

That is the Islam I have cherished and come to value. 

Muhammad Yunus adds, “It is also in conformity with the concluding decree of the Qur’an- the divine Sharia of Islam even though, the classical Sharia law does not conform to the wisdom of Quran on numerous counts.
In the Qur’an, the Divine voice declares: ‘For each of you, we have made a different law (shira) and an open way (minhaj). If God so pleased, He would have made you all into one community. Therefore, view with each other in goodness (and lawful pursuits)…’ (5:48)

Article 5 – “Sovereignty is for the people alone and they are the source of authority.”
Muhammad Yunus, ““Much as the traditional Islamists may contest, this cardinal declaration from enlightened Muslim leadership mirrors the apolitical ethos of the Qur’an. It is important to bring this point across, as the statement purports to herald a new era in the traditional Islamic constitutional scholarship and in bridging the alarmingly widening civilization gap between Islam and the rest of the world that currently haunts and threatens humanity.”
Article 6– “The political system is based on the principles of democracy and Shura (counsel), citizenship (under which all citizens are equal in rights and duties), multi-party pluralism, peaceful transfer of power, separation of powers and the balance between them, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and freedoms; all as elaborated in the Constitution.”
“No political party shall be formed that discriminates on the basis of gender, origin or religion.This part of the article and many clauses ensure the freedom for Coptic Christians and other minorities and that relieves me as a Muslim and as a Pluralist.
Muhammad Yunus sees a far greater significance of this pronouncement than its local relevance. He states: “Exclusion of religious discrimination marks yet another landmark broadening of Islamic thoughts. It sets aside the highly anti-Qur’anic notion of world domination by the Muslims as advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood and tenaciously upheld by a large section of traditional Islamists. Therefore, if this epithet (Islamist) must be applied to the present ruling party, it must be qualified with an appropriate prefix to distinguish it from the Muslim Brotherhood model of polity. They may be called secular Islamists – or simply secular”
Article 9 “The State shall ensure safety, security and equal opportunities for all citizens without discrimination.”
President’s powers – Article 102 – both the houses have to pass the bill to become the law. 
I still like to learn about the role of Shura Council. 
No room for Dhimmi.
One is innocent until proven guilty.

Sean Hannity does not trust the brotherhood, and I don’t either. But I do trust the spirit of the people who endured harassment, but were determined to get Mubarak out and got him out. My consistent parroting is that truth ultimately triumphs, justice wins in the end, and the will of the people will prevail. The Egyptians will fight till freedom becomes a norm of that nation. There is no going back to monarchy dictatorship or theocracy. 

I am optimistic that Egypt will flourish into a pluralistic democracy despite the despotic temporary usurpation of power by Mohamed Morsi.  Egypt will be an Islamic model of governance, where one can live his or her life, and practice his or her faith without fear and have un-hindered opportunity to be what one wants to be including, a Coptic Christian becoming Egyptian president one day.

Once upon a time, the Muslim world had set its eyes on Pakistan to play that leadership role, it failed miserably, dictators and fanatic extremists took over the nation and have made a hell hole for its minorities.  That does not reflect the character of the Pakistani majority, everyone is aspiring for a Tahrir square to emerge in Pakistan and restore that nation into a Pluralistic democracy, that Jinnah, the father of that nation had envisioned. 

The Republic of India has one of the most successful pluralistic forms of governance. At this time, perhaps India is the only democracy where the nation has several parallel personal laws operating at the same time; The Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhist and Zoroastrians (not sure about Jews) have their own personal laws to guide them live their lives. I am driven by India’s pluralistic heritage and Prophet Muhammad’s vision and hope to contribute my share of work in building cohesive societies. 
Thanks to the people of Egypt for the courage and the fortitude, the beginning is yet to begin, but the road of resistance is paved and the joy of freedom cannot be overwhelmed by a dictator or a Morsi. 

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. www.MikeGhouse.netindexes all his work.
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Egypt Independent’s translation of the draft constitution will be updated throughout the day.


We, the people of Egypt,

In the name of God and with the assistance of God, declare this to be
Egypt’s Constitution and the document of the pioneering, peaceful revolution, which was started by Egypt’s promising youth, protected by the Armed Forces, championed by the patient Egyptians who gathered in Tahrir Square on 25 January 2011 to assert their rejection of all forms of injustice, oppression, tyranny, plunder and monopoly, to fully proclaim their rights to a decent life, to freedom, to social justice and human dignity — all rights granted by God before being prescribed in constitutions and universal declarations of human rights;

A promise of a new dawn worthy of Egypt’s history and civilization, the same civilization that gave humanity the first alphabet, that opened the way to monotheism and the knowledge of the Creator, adorned the pages of history with creativity, established the oldest state on the banks of the timeless Nile, while from the beginning understanding the meaning of identity, and embodying the values of citizenship.

The great Egyptian people have regained their freedom and dignity, and here they are now, going forth toward a new tomorrow, more firmly joined to the historical moment, with greater faith in their abilities and their fundamental principles, more determined to achieve the objectives of their peaceful revolution, optimistic about a safe future under the rubric of a free country, ready for hard work and for active participation in the progress of human civilization.
Having restored a fresh spirit of unity between Egyptians, men and women, the people’s revolution continues toward building a modern democratic state, while preserving Egypt’s spiritual and social values, its rich and unique constituents, and building on the integral fundamentals expressed in the following principles:

Sovereignty is for the people, the sole bearer of the right to set up the authorities, which derive their legitimacy from the people, are subject to the people’s control,are bound by the limits of their mandates and constitutional responsibilities, and are committed to protecting public funds, maintaining the State’s resources, and establishing the fundamentals of justice in the distribution thereof. The authorities shall uphold the principle that positions of public service amount to responsibilities and mandates, not to rights or privileges, and that their holders work to serve the interests of the citizens.

Democracy is the system of government established and expanding the grounds for peaceful transfer of power, supporting political pluralism, ensuring fair elections and the people’s contribution in the decision-making process.

The freedom of citizens shall be upheld in all aspects of life, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom in housing, property and travel, out of full belief in such freedom as a divine principle laid down by the Creator in the motion of the universe. God has created humans free and gifted them with the highest degree of refinement, intelligence and wisdom.

Equality before the law and equal opportunities for all citizens, men and women, without discrimination or nepotism, especially in the areas of education, employment, political rights, and economic and social rights, prioritizing the advancement of social justice.

The rule of law is the basis of government. The freedom of individuals and the legitimacy of state authorities are ensured by the submission of the State and of individuals to the rule of law and the State’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary. The Egyptian judiciary shall carry out its mission in defending the constitution, upholding justice and protecting rights and freedoms.

Respect for the individual, the cornerstone of the nation, whose dignity is a natural extension of national pride. Further, there is no dignity for a country in which women are not honored. Women are the sisters of men and hold the fort of motherhood; they are half of society and partners in all national gains and responsibilities.

Upholding national unity is an obligation of state and society, for it forms the basis of stability and national cohesion, the cornerstone of building a modern Egypt and of the path to progress and development. To that end, the values of tolerance and moderation shall be spread, and the rights and freedoms of all citizens shall be protected without discrimination.

Defending the land is a duty and an honor in the service of which human resources and funds shall be mobilized. As the country’s protective shield, the Armed Forces have a special place in the minds of the Egyptian people. The Armed Forces form a professional and neutral national institution that does not interfere in political affairs. No other group is allowed to form military or paramilitary structures or engage in activities of military character.

Security is a great blessing. The role of security forces is to protect individuals and enforce the measures of justice. There can be no justice without protection, and no protection without security institutions capable of enforcing the state’s authority within a framework of respect for the rule of law and human dignity.

Peace based on justice for the whole world, political and social progress for all peoples. Independent national development can only occur when the creative potential of the Egyptian people is unleashed, recalling their contribution to the advancement of civilization, for themselves and for humanity as a whole.

Arab unity is a call of history and of the future, and a demand of destiny that can only materialize under the protection of an Arab nation capable of warding off any threat, regardless of its source and the pretexts supporting it. Such unity is to be reinforced through the integration and brotherhood with countries of the Nile Valley and of the Muslim world, both a natural extension borne out of the distinctiveness of Egypt’s position on the global map.

Emphasizing Egypt’s pioneering intellectual and cultural role in the whole world and in the region, embodied by a soft power which has brought forth, and still does, icons of Egyptian thought, art and creativity. Creative freedom and the safety of thinkers shall be ensured, and the state’s responsibility for the supporting institutions maintained: universities, science centers, linguistic and research centers, the press, the arts, literature and mass media, the national church and Al-Azhar, with its history as a mainstay of national identity, the Arabic language and Islamic Sharia, and as a beacon for moderate enlightened thought.

We, the people of Egypt,Out of faith in God and His heavenly messages,In recognition of the right of the country and the nation,
With awareness of our responsibilities toward the nation and humanity,Pledge to stay committed to the principles laid out in this Preamble, which we hold to be an integral part of this Constitution that we accept and grant to ourselves, affirming our determination to uphold and defend it, and asserting that it shall be respected by all.
Chapter One: Political principles

Article 1
The Arab Republic of Egypt is an independent sovereign state, united and indivisible, its system democratic.
The Egyptian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations, proud of belonging to the Nile Valley and Africa and of its Asian reach, a positive participant in human civilization.

Article 2
Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic its official language. Principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.

Article 3
The canon principles of Egyptian Christians and Jews are the main source of legislation for their personal status laws, religious affairs, and the selection of their spiritual leaders.

Article 4
Al-Azhar is an encompassing independent Islamic institution, with exclusive autonomy over its own affairs, responsible for preaching Islam, theology and the Arabic language in Egypt and the world. Al-Azhar Senior Scholars are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law.
The post of Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh is independent and cannot be dismissed. The method of appointing the Grand Sheikh from among members of the Senior Scholars is to be determined by law.
The State shall ensure sufficient funds for Al-Azhar to achieve its objectives.
All of the above is subject to law regulations.

Article 5
Sovereignty is for the people alone and they are the source of authority. The people shall exercise and protect this sovereignty, and safeguard national unity in the manner specified in the Constitution.

Article 6
The political system is based on the principles of democracy and shura (counsel), citizenship (under which all citizens are equal in rights and duties), multi-party pluralism, peaceful transfer of power, separation of powers and the balance between them, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and freedoms; all as elaborated in the Constitution.
No political party shall be formed that discriminates on the basis of gender, origin or religion.

Article 7
Defense of the motherland and its soil is a sacred duty, and conscription is obligatory in accordance with the law.

Chapter Two: Social and Ethical Principles  

Article 8
The State guarantees the means to achieve justice, equality and freedom, and is committed to facilitating the channels of social charity and solidarity between the members of society, and to ensure the protection of persons and property, and to working toward providing for all citizens; all within the context of the law.

Article 9
The State shall ensure safety, security and equal opportunities for all citizens without discrimination.

Article 10
The family is the basis of the society and is founded on religion, morality and patriotism.
The State is keen to preserve the genuine character of the Egyptian family, its cohesion and stability, and to protect its moral values, all as regulated by law.
The State shall ensure maternal and child health services free of charge, and enable the reconciliation between the duties of a woman toward her family and her work.
The State shall provide special care and protection to female breadwinners, divorced women and widows.

Article 11
The State shall safeguard ethics, public morality and public order, and foster a high level of education and of religious and patriotic values, scientific thinking, Arab culture, and the historical and cultural heritage of the people; all as shall be regulated by law.

Article 12
The State shall safeguard the cultural and linguistic constituents of society, and foster the Arabization of education, science and knowledge.

Article 13
The institution of civil titles shall be prohibited.

Chapter Three: Economic Principles

Article 14
National economy shall be organized in accordance with a comprehensive, constant development plan, ensuring the increase of national income, enhancement of standard of living, elimination of poverty and unemployment, increase of work opportunities, and increase of production.

The development plan shall establish social justice and solidarity, ensure equitable distribution, protect consumer rights, and safeguard the rights of workers, dividing development costs between capital and labor and sharing the revenues justly.

Wages shall be linked to production, bridging income gaps and establishing a minimum wage that would guarantee decent living standards for all citizens, and a maximum wage in civil service positions with exemptions regulated by law.

Article 15
Agriculture is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect and increase farmland, work on the development of crop and plant varieties, develop and protect animal breeds and fisheries, achieve food security, provide the requirements of agricultural production, its good management and marketing, and support agricultural industries.
The law regulates the use of land, in such a way as to achieve social justice, and protect farmers and agricultural laborer from exploitation.

Article 16
The State is committed to the development of the countryside and the desert, working to raise the standard of living of the farmers and the people of the desert.

Article 17
Industry is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect strategic industries, support industrial development, and import new technologies and their applications.
The State shall foster small handicraft industries.

Article 18
The natural resources of the State belong to the people, who have a right to their revenues. The State is committed to preserving such resources for future generations and putting them to good use.

State property is not to be disposed of. The franchise to use, or the commitment to a public utility, can only be granted according to legal regulations.
All money with no owner belongs to the State.

Article 19
The Nile River and water resources are a national wealth. The State is committed to maintaining and developing them, and preventing abuse. The use of such resources shall be regulated by law.

Article 20
The State shall protect its coasts, seas, waterways and lakes, maintain monuments and nature reserves, and remove any encroachments.

Article 21
The State guarantees and protects legitimate ownership of all kinds of public, cooperative and private property and endowments, as shall be regulated by law.

Article 22
Public funds are inviolable. It is a national duty of the State and society to safeguard them.

Article 23
The State shall support cooperatives in all forms and ensure their independence.

Article 24
Private property is inviolable and has a function in the service of national economy without deviation or monopoly. The right of inheritance shall be safeguarded. Private property may not be placed under sequestration except in cases specified by law, and with a court order. Ownership of property may not be removed except in cases where the public good requires and with just compensation paid in advance.
All of the above shall be regulated by law.

Article 25
The State is committed to reviving and encouraging the system of charitable endowments.
The way an endowment is established, the management of its funds, their investment and the distribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries, shall all be regulated by law, according to the terms of the trustee.

Article 26
Social justice is the foundation of taxation and other public finance duties.
Public taxes shall not be established, modified or repealed except by law. There shall be no exemptions except in the cases prescribed by law. No one shall be required to pay additional taxes or fees except within the limits of the law.

Article 27
Workers shall have a share of the management and profits of enterprises. They shall be committed in turn to the development of production, to protecting its means and to the implementation of plans in their production units, in accordance with the law.
Workers shall be represented on the boards of directors of public sector units within the limit of 50 percent of the number of members of these boards. The law shall guarantee for small farmers and small craftsmen 80 percent of membership on the boards of directors of agricultural and industrial cooperatives.

Article 28
Saving is encouraged and protected by the State. The State shall also safeguard insurance and pension funds, in accordance with legal regulations.

Article 29
Nationalization shall not be allowed except for in consideration of public interest, in accordance with the law and against fair compensation.

Article 30
Public sequestration of property shall be prohibited.
Private sequestration shall not be allowed except under a court judgment.

Chapter One: Personal rights

Article 31
Dignity is the right of every human being, safeguarded by the State.
Insulting or showing contempt toward any human being shall be prohibited.

Article 32
Egyptian nationality is a right, regulated by law.

Article 33
All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination.

Article 34
Individual freedom is a natural right, safeguarded and inviolable.

Article 35
Except in cases of flagrante delicto, no person may be arrested, inspected, detained or prevented from free movement except under a court order necessitated by investigations.

Any person arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons in writing within 12 hours, be presented to the investigating authority within 24 hours from the time of arrest, be interrogated only in the presence of a lawyer, and be provided with a lawyer when needed.

The person arrested or detained, and others, have the right of appeal to the courts against the measure of arrest. If a decision is not provided within a week, release becomes imperative.
The law regulates the rules for temporary detention, its duration and its causes, and cases of entitlement to compensation, whether for temporary detention or for a sentence carried out that a court final ruling has revoked.

Article 36
Any person arrested, detained or whose freedom is restricted in any way, shall be treated in a manner preserving human dignity. No physical or moral harm shall be inflicted upon that person.
Only places that are humanely and hygienically fit, and subject to judicial supervision, may be used for detention.

The violation of any of the above is an offense punishable by law.
Any statement proved to have been made by a person under any of the aforementioned forms of duress or coercion or under the threat thereof, shall be considered invalid and futile.

Article 37
Prison is a place of discipline and reform, subject to judicial supervision, where anything that is contrary to human dignity or a person’s health is prohibited.

The State is responsible for the rehabilitation of convicts and facilitating a decent life for them after their release.

Article 38
The private life of citizens is inviolable. Postal correspondence, wires, electronic correspondence, telephone calls and other means of communication shall have their own sanctity and secrecy and may not be confiscated or monitored except by a causal judicial warrant.

Article 39
Private homes are inviolable. With the exception of cases of immediate danger and distress, they may not be entered, searched or monitored, except in cases defined by law, and by a causal judicial warrant which specifies place, timing and purpose. Those in a home shall be alerted before the home is entered or searched.

Article 40
All residents have a right to security which is safeguarded by the State, and are protected by law against criminal threats.

Article 41
The sanctity of the human body is inviolable, and the trafficking of human organs prohibited. No person may be subjected to any medical or scientific experiment without free, documented consent, and in accordance with the established foundations of medical science, in the manner regulated by law.

Article 42
Freedom of movement, residence and immigration shall be safeguarded.
No citizen may be deported from or prevented from returning to the country.
No citizen shall be prevented from leaving the country, nor placed under house arrest, except by a causal judicial warrant, and for a definite period.

Chapter Two: Moral and political rights

Article 43
Freedom of belief is an inviolable right.
The State shall guarantee the freedom to practice religious rites and to establish places of worship for the divine religions, as regulated by law.

Article 44
Insult or abuse of all religious messengers and prophets shall be prohibited.

Article 45
Freedom of thought and opinion shall be guaranteed.
Every individual has the right to express an opinion and to disseminate it verbally, in writing or illustration, or by any other means of publication and expression.

Article 46
Freedom of creativity in its various forms is the right of every citizen.
The State shall advance science, literature and the arts, care for creators and inventors, protect their creations and innovations, and work to apply them for the benefit of society.
The State shall take the necessary measures to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage and promote cultural services.

Article 47
Access to information, data, documents and statistics, and the disclosure and circulation thereof, is a right guaranteed by the state, in a manner that does not violate the sanctity of private life or the rights of others, and that does not conflict with national security.
The law regulates the rules for filing and archiving public documents, the means of access to information, the means of complaint when access is refused, and the consequent accountability.

Article 48
Freedom of the press, printing, publication and mass media shall be guaranteed. The media shall be free and independent to serve the community and to express the different trends in public opinion, and contribute to shaping and directing in accordance with the basic principles of the State and society, and to maintain rights, freedoms and public duties, respecting the sanctity of the private lives of citizens and the requirements of national security. The closure or confiscation of media outlets is prohibited except with a court order.

Control over the media is prohibited, with the exception of specific censorship that may be imposed in times of war or public mobilization.

Article 49
Freedom to publish and own newspapers of all kinds is a guaranteed subject of notification for every natural or juridical Egyptian person.
The establishing of radio stations, television broadcasting and digital media is regulated by law.

Article 50
Citizens have the right to organize public meetings, processions and peaceful demonstrations, unarmed and based on the notification regulated by law.
The right to private assembly is guaranteed without the need for prior notice. Security personnel shall not attend or intercept such private meetings.

Article 51
Citizens have the right to establish associations and civil institutions, subject to notification only. Such institutions shall operate freely, and be deemed legal persons.
Authorities may not disband them or their administrative bodies without a court order, in the manner prescribed by the law.

Article 52
The freedom to form syndicates, unions and cooperatives is a right guaranteed by law. They shall be deemed legal persons, be formed on a democratic basis, operate freely, participate in the service of community service, raising the standard of productivity among their members, and safeguarding their assets.

Authorities may not disband them or their boards except under a court order.

Article 53
Trade unions are regulated by law and managed on a democratic basis, the accountability of their members subject to professional codes of ethics. One trade union is allowed per profession.

Authorities may not disband the boards of trade unions except with a court order, and may not place them under sequestration.

Article 54
Every individual has the right to address public authorities in writing and under his own signature.

Addressing public authorities should not be in the name of groups, with the exception of juridical persons.

Article 55
Citizen participation in public life and a national duty: Every citizen shall have the right to vote, run for elections, and express opinions in referendums, according to the provisions of the law.

The State is responsible for the inclusion of the name of every citizen who is qualified to vote in the voters’ database without waiting for an application.

The State shall ensure the fairness, validity, impartiality and integrity of referendums and elections. Interference in anything of the above is a crime punishable by law.

Article 56
The State shall safeguard the interests of Egyptians living abroad, protect them and protect their rights and freedoms, help them perform their public duties toward the Egyptian State and society, and encourage their contribution to the development of the nation.
Their participation in elections and referendums is regulated by law.

Article 57
The right to political asylum shall be granted by the State to every foreigner deprived in their country of public rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
Extradition of political refugees is prohibited.
All of the above shall be subject to law regulations.

Chapter Three: Economic and social rights

Article 58
High-quality education is a right guaranteed by the State for every citizen. It is free throughout its stages in all government institutions, obligatory in the primary stage, and the State shall work to extend obligation to other stages.

The State supports and encourages technical education, and oversees education in all its forms.

All educational institutions, public and private, local and otherwise shall abide by the State educational plans and goals, and realize the link between education and the needs of society and production.

Article 59
The State shall guarantee the freedom of scientific and literary research. The autonomy of universities, scientific and linguistic academies, and research centers shall be safeguarded; the State shall provide them with a sufficient percentage of the national revenue.

Article 60
The Arabic language is a primary subject in all stages of education in all educational institutions.

Religious education and national history are core subjects of pre-university education in all its forms.

Universities shall be committed to the teaching of ethics pertaining to the various disciplines.

Article 61
The State shall develop a comprehensive plan to eradicate illiteracy across ages, for males and females, to be executed with social participation within 10 years from the date of the constitution.

Article 62
Healthcare is a right of every citizen, and the State shall allocate a sufficient percentage of the national revenue.

The State shall provide healthcare services and health insurance in accordance with just and high standards, to be free of charge for those who are unable to pay.

All health facilities shall provide various forms of medical treatment to every citizen in cases of emergency or life danger.

The State shall supervise all health facilities, inspect them for quality of services, and monitor all materials, products and means of health-related publicity. Legislation to regulate such supervision shall be drafted.

Article 63
Work is a right, duty and honor for every citizen, guaranteed by the State on the basis of the principles of equality, justice and equal opportunities.

There shall be no forced labor except in accordance with law.

Public sector employees shall work in the service of the people. The State shall employ citizens on the basis of merit, without nepotism or mediation. Any violation is a crime punishable by law.

The State guarantees for every worker the right to fair pay, vacation, retirement and social security, healthcare, protection against occupational hazards, and the application of occupational safety conditions in the workplace, as prescribed by law.
Workers may not be dismissed except in the cases prescribed by law.
The right to peaceful strike is regulated by law.

Article 64
With regards to the martyrs and the injured of wars, of the 25 January revolution, and of national duty, the State shall honor them and support their families, as well as war veterans and the injured, the families of those missing at war, and similar cases.
They, their children and their wives shall have priority in employment opportunities.
All of the above shall be regulated by law.

Article 65
The State shall provide social insurance services.
All citizens unable to support themselves and their families in cases of incapacity, unemployment and old age have the right to social insurance guaranteeing a minimum sustenance.

Article 66
The State shall provide an adequate pension for small-scale farmers, agricultural workers, casual workers, and all who do not have access to the social insurance system.
All are subject to law regulations.

Article 67
Adequate housing, clean water and healthy food are given rights.
The state adopts a national housing plan, its basis in social justice, the promotion of independent initiatives and housing cooperatives, and the regulation of the use of national territory for the purposes of construction, in accordance with public interest and with the rights of future generations.

Article 68
Everyone has the right to play sports.
State and social institutions shall strive to discover talented athletes and support them, and take the necessary measures to encourage exercise.

Article 69
All individuals have the right to a healthy environment. The State shall safeguard the environment against pollution, and promote the use of natural resources in a manner that prevents damage to the environment and preserves the rights of future generations.

Article 70
Every child, from the moment of birth, has the right to a proper name, family care, basic nutrition, shelter, health services, and religious, emotional and cognitive development.
The State shall care and protect the child in the case of the loss of family. The State also safeguards the rights of disabled children, and their rehabilitation and integration into society.
Child labor is prohibited before passing the age of compulsory education, in jobs that are not fit for a child’s age, or that prevent the child from continuing education.

A child may only be detained for a specified period, must be provided with legal assistance, and be held in a convenient location, taking into account separation according to gender, ages and type of crime, and be held away from places of adult detention.

Article 71
The State shall provide care for children and youth; shall support their development spiritually, morally, culturally, educationally, physically, psychologically, socially and economically; and shall empower them for active political participation.

Article 72
The State shall provide for people with disabilities health, economic and social care, and shall provide them with employment opportunities, raise social awareness toward them, and adapt public facilities to suit their needs.

Article 73
All forms of oppression, exploitation and sex trafficking are prohibited and criminalized by law.

Chapter Four: Guarantees for the protection of rights and freedoms

Article 74
Sovereignty of the law shall be the basis of rule in the State.
The independence and immunity of the judiciary are two basic guarantees to safeguard rights and freedoms.

Article 75
The right to litigation is inalienable and guaranteed for all.
The State shall guarantee accessibility of judicature for litigants, and rapid decision on cases.
Any stipulation of immunity of any act or administrative decision from the control of the judicature is prohibited.

No person shall be tried except before their natural judge; exceptional courts are prohibited.

Article 76
Penalty shall be personalized. There shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law. No penalty shall be inflicted except by a judicial sentence. Penalty shall be inflicted only for acts committed subsequent to the promulgation of the law prescribing it.

Article 77
No criminal action shall be made except under an order from a judiciary body, save for cases defined by law.

A defendant is innocent until proven guilty in legal trial, and granted the right of defense. Every person accused of a felony shall be provided with a defense lawyer. Minor offenses, in which a defense lawyer is also required, are determined by law.
The law regulates the rules of appeal for felonies and offenses.
The state shall provide protection for victims of crime, witnesses, defendants and informants where necessary.

Article 78
The right of defense in person or by proxy is guaranteed.
The law secures, for financially incapable citizens, means to resort to justice and to defend their rights.

Article 79
Sentences shall be issued and enforced in the name of the people. Abstention from or obstruction of enforcing such sentences on the part of the concerned civil servants is considered a crime punishable by law. In such case, a person issued a sentence in his favor shall have the right to lodge a direct criminal action before the competent court.

Article 80
Any encroachment on any of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution shall be considered a crime for which criminal and civil lawsuit shall not be forfeited by prescription. The State shall grant a fair compensation to the victim of such encroachment.

The injured party shall have the right to lodge a direct criminal action.
The National Council for Human Rights shall inform the Public Prosecution of any violation of these rights, may join the injured party in a civil action, and may appeal on their behalf.

Article 81
Rights and freedoms pertaining to the individual citizen shall not be subject to disruption or detraction.

No law that regulates the practice of the rights and freedoms shall include what would constrain their essence.
Such rights and freedoms shall be practiced in a manner not conflicting with the principles pertaining to State and society included in Part I of this Constitution.

Chapter One: Legislative authority

Section 1: Common provisions

Article 82
The legislative power shall consist of the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council.
Each shall exercise their respective authorities as set out in the Constitution.

Article 83
Membership of the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council may not be combined.
Other cases of incompatibility may be specified by law.

Article 84
Save in exceptional cases defined by law, members of either the People’s Assembly or the Shura Council are to be fully devoted to their offices, with any other job or post kept open for their return, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Article 85
A Member of a Legislative House is unconditionally representative of the population as a whole.

Article 86
Prior to the start of his or her tenure, a Member shall take the following oath before his or her Assembly or Council: “I swear by Almighty God to loyally uphold the republican system, to respect the Constitution and the law, to fully look after the interests of the people, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the motherland.”

Article 87
The Court of Cassation shall have final jurisdiction over the validity of memberships in both Houses. Challenges shall be submitted to the court within a period not exceeding 30 days from the announcement of the final election results, and a verdict shall be passed within 60 days from the date of receipt of the challenge.

Where a membership is deemed invalid, it becomes void from the date the verdict is reported to Assembly or Council.

Article 88
Throughout his or her tenure, no Member of a Legislative House may, in person of through an intermediary, purchase or rent any State property, lease or sell to or barter with the State any part of their own property, or conclude a contract with the State as vendor, supplier or contractor.

Members shall provide financial disclosures and present them to their Assembly or Council, at the start and at the end of their tenure, as well as at the end of each year.
If, in relation to their membership in a Legislative House, Members should receive cash or in-kind gifts, such gifts shall go into the Public Treasury.
All of the above is subject to regulation by law.

Article 89
Members of the Legislative Houses shall not be held to account for any opinions pertaining to their tasks in the Assembly or Council.

Article 90
It is prohibited, except in cases of flagrante delicto, to take criminal action against Members of the Legislative Houses without prior permission from their Assembly or Council. If not in session, permission must be granted by the Council Office, and the Assembly or Council notified at the first subsequent session of any measures taken.
In all cases, if a request for permission to take legal action against a Member of Council or Parliament does not receive a response within 30 days, the permission is to be considered granted.

Article 91
Members shall receive a remuneration determined by the law.

Article 92
The seats of both the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council are in Cairo.
However, in exceptional circumstances, either of them may hold meetings elsewhere, at the request of the President of the Republic or one-third of the members of the Assembly or Council.

Any meetings otherwise shall be deemed illegitimate and the resolutions passed therein shall be considered void.

Article 93
The sessions of the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council shall be held in public.
However, closed sessions may be held at the request of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or at least 20 of its members. The Assembly or Council shall then decide whether the debate on the question submitted thereto shall take place in public or closed sessions.

Article 94
The President of the Republic shall convoke the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council for their ordinary annual sessions before the first Thursday of October. If not convoked, the Councils are prescribed by the Constitution to meet on the said day.

The ordinary meeting session shall continue for at least eight months. The President of the Republic shall bring each session to a close with the approval of the Councils, and in the case of the People’s Assembly, only after the general budget of the State has been adopted.

Article 95
When necessary, the People’s Assembly or the Shura Council may be called to an extraordinary meeting, by the President of the Republic, by the Cabinet, or upon a request signed by at least 10 Council or Assembly members.

Article 96
The meeting of the Assembly or Council, and the resolutions they pass, shall not be considered valid unless attended by the majority of its members.
In cases other than those stipulating a special majority, resolutions shall be adopted based on an absolute majority of the members present. In case of a tie vote, the matter in deliberation shall be deemed rejected.

Article 97
Each Council shall elect, in the first meeting of its regular annual session, a speaker and two deputy speakers for the full legislative term in the case of the People’s Assembly, and for half of the legislative term in the case of the Shura Council. If the seat of either becomes vacant, the Council or Assembly shall elect a replacement, whose term will last until the end of its predecessor’s.

In all cases, one-third of the members of either Council could request a new election of the Speaker or Deputy Speakers in the first meeting of the regular annual session.

Article 98
If the presidency is temporarily assumed by the Speaker of the People’s Assembly or of the Shura Council, said Council shall be chaired by the older of the two Deputy Speakers.

Article 99
Each Council shall lay down its own bylaws regulating its work and the manner of practicing its functions, to be published in the Official Gazette.

Article 100
Each Council shall maintain its internal order, a responsibility assumed by each Council’s Speaker.

No armed forces may be present within or in vicinity of either of the Legislative Houses except at the request of the Council’s Speaker.

Article 101
The President of the Republic, the Cabinet, and every member of the People’s Assembly shall have the right to propose laws.

Every draft law shall be referred to a specialist committee of the Assembly, which shall study it and submit a report.

Draft laws presented by members of the People’s Assembly shall not be referred to that committee before being first endorsed by the Proposals Committee and approved for consideration by the Assembly. Reasons for rejection must be presented if the Proposals Committee does not endorse a proposal for consideration.

A draft law proposed by a member but rejected by the Assembly may not be presented again during the same legislative term.

Article 102
Neither of the Legislative Houses may pass a bill without seeking consultation.
Each Council has the right to apply amendments and break down existing clauses or suggested amendments.

Each bill passed by one of the Councils shall be passed on to the other, which in turn shall not delay it for more than 60 days, excluding the legislative recess. It shall not be considered a law unless passed by both Councils.

Article 103
In case of legislative dispute between the two Councils, a joint committee of 20 members shall be formed, 10 selected by each Council from among its members and based on the nominations of its General Committee. The joint committee shall then propose the wording of the disputed clauses.

The proposals are then presented to each Council; if an agreement is not reached, the case is taken to the People’s Assembly to reach a decision based on a two-thirds majority vote.

Article 104
The People’s Assembly shall notify the President of the Republic of any law passed for the President to issue the new law within 15 days from the date of receiving it. In case the President objects to the draft law, it must be referred back to the Assembly within 30 days.
If the draft law is not referred back within this period, or if it is approved again by a majority of two- thirds of the members, it shall be considered a law and shall be disseminated as such.
If it is not approved by the Assembly, it may not be presented in the same session before four months have passed from the date of the decision.

Article 105
Every member of the People’s Assembly or Shura Council is entitled to address questions to the Prime Minister or any of his deputies or ministers concerning matters within their respective jurisdiction. They in turn shall be obliged to answer such questions.
The Member may withdraw the question at any time, and the same question may not be transformed into an interrogation within the same session.

Article 106
Any Member of either Council may propose to the Prime Minister, one of his deputies or a minister the discussion of a public issue.

Article 107
Any 20 members of the People’s Assembly, or 10 of the Shura Council, may request the discussion of a public issue to obtain clarification on the government’s policy in its regard.

Article 108
Any Member of the People’s Assembly or the Shura Council has the right to obtain data or information pertaining to their own performance at the Council, taking into account the provisions of Article 47 of the Constitution.

Article 109
Citizens may submit written proposals to either Council regarding public issues.
Citizens may also submit complaints to either Council to be referred to the relevant ministers. Based on the Council’s request, the minister may provide a clarification, and the citizen who issued the complaint shall be kept informed.

Article 110
The Prime Minister, his deputies, ministers and their deputies may attend the sessions and committees of the Councils. Their attendance may be obligatory if requested by either Council. They may be assisted by high-ranking officials of their choice.
They shall be heard whenever they request to speak; they shall answer questions pertaining to issues in discussion, but shall have no counted vote when votes are taken.

Article 111
Each Council accepts the resignation of its members, which must be submitted in writing, and to be accepted must not be submitted after a Council has started measure of revoking membership against the resigning Member.

Article 112
Membership of either Council may only be revoked if a Member has lost trust, status or any of the membership requirements that were prerequisites for their election, or if they have violated the duties of the membership.

Decision on revoking membership shall be issued by a majority of two-thirds of the Council in question.

Article 113
If the seat of a member becomes vacant at least six months before the end of term, the vacant position must be filled in accordance with the law within sixty days from the date the vacancy is first reported.

The term of the new Member shall be complementary to that of the predecessor.
Edited by Sara Edmunds and Lindsay Carroll
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The following Organizations endorse the constitution:

  • World Muslim Congress – 

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