Egyptian society is deeply divided over the new constitution, the process by which it was produced, and the referendum through which it was passed. This has been a golden opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood in power, and the Salafis who yield enormous powers in society, to allay the fears held by the opposition that the constitution would open up a Pandora’s box of rights-limiting policies, interventions and schemes. This has not happened.
The instatement of theocratic constitutionalism: The two most contentious articles of the constitution that now threaten to turn Egypt into a theocratic constitutional state are articles 219 and 4.
Article 2 of the dissolved 1971 constitution stipulated that the principles of the Shariah are the principal source of legislation. None of the non-Islamist members of the constituent assembly proposed any change to the article. However, the Islamists argued that so far, article 2 of the constitution had not been adequately applied to ensure full compliance with Shariah in legislation, and therefore added article 219 which introduces Islamic jurisprudence as the basis of legislation.