Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Religion Provisions of the 2011 Provisional Constitution of Egypt

One of my current research projects involves analysis of the religion provisions of various constitutions enacted since the year 2000. From time to time on this blog, I'll post extracts of those provisions arranged according to categories such as "Religious Freedom" (guarantee of individual rights), "Established Religion" (joining religion and government), "Establishment Clause" (separating religion and government), "Ceremonial Deism" (symbolic references to religion that have little or no legal effect), "Equal Protection of Religion" (non-discrimination guarantees), "Preamble", "Religious Education", and "Religious Limitations."


With the recent election of a candidate supported by the Muslim Brotherhood as President of Egypt, the religion provisions of the Egyptian Provisional Constitution of 2011 are certainly worth examining.  Here we see Islam as the established religion of Egypt, with Shar'ia law as "the principal source of legislation".  However, religious freedom and equality guarantees are present, along with an interesting provision stating that no political activities or parties should be "established on a religious referential authority."

Egypt Provisional Constitution 2011

Established Religion

Article 2  Islam is the religion of the state and the Arabic language is its official
language. Principles of Islamic law (Shari’a) are the principal source of


Article 4  No political activity shall be exercised nor political
parties established on a religious referential authority, on a religious basis
or on discrimination on grounds of gender or origin.

Equal Protection of Religion

Article 6  Law applies equally to all citizens, and they are equal in rights and general duties. They may not be discriminated against due to race, origin,
language, religion, or creed.

Religious Freedom

Article 11  The state guarantees the freedom of creed, and practicing religious rites.

Ceremonial Deism

Article 30  The president will take the following oath before the People's Assembly before assuming his position " I swear to God that I will faithfully preserve the republican order, that I will respect the constitution and the law, and look after the interests of the people comprehensively, and that will
preserve the independence of the nation and the safety of its land"

Article 42  Every member of the People's Assembly and Shoura Councils will swear to conduct work in accordance with the following oath in front of his
legislative body " I swear to God that I will faithfully preserve the safety of
the nation and the republican order, that I will look after the interests of
the people and respect the constitution and the law"

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