Egypt's new constitution, if you can call it that was rushed through by the Islamist and Salafi majority today. Virtually all of the Christian and more liberal members simply left and did not vote.
There are still huge demonstrations taking place in Cairo and Alexandria against President Mahmoud Morsi assuming what amounts to dictatorial powers, but just as with Mubarak, the key is which way the army jumps.
And also as with Mubarak, the army is waiting to see if President Obama gives them a signal on which way to go. The carrot in this case is the $1.5 billion in funding the U.S. gives the Egyptian military; Egypt's army, like Pakistan's owns numerous private businesses and revenue sources that depend on it.
The constitution itself states that sharia will be the main source of legislation, and also mandates that Al-Azhar, Egypt's fiqh or Islamic school of jurisprudence, must be consulted on any matters related to Islamic law. In other words, oversight of legislation by Islamic clerics. Some other interesting bits include:
In other words, a totalitarian Islamist state.The only way it won't happen is if the U.S. signals the military that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood need to be history...in which case, we might see a military junta instead of an Islamist dictatorship. Given his serious jones for Islamists, I rate the chances of President Barack Obama sending those signals as slim and none.
The new constitutional draft is to be sent to Morsi fo rhis signature tomorrow, when he will sign off on it and decide on a date for a referendum, possibly in mid-December.
There's absolutely no chance it won't pass when it does, in spite of the crowds in Tahrir Square.
They've been bypassed, and they don't count any more.