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Published On: Tue, Jan 21st, 2014

New Egyptian Constitution approved, gives women equal rights and protects Coptic Christians

Egyptian voters have approved a new constitution which grants women equal rights and extends protections for the persecuted Coptic Christian community.

Mohammed Morsi Egyptian President Muslim Brotherhood

Mohammed Morsi, Egyptian President supported by the Muslim Brotherhoodphoto/Forcalgeria via wikimedia commons

The Muslim Brotherhood had called for a boycott of the referendum, and turnout was variously estimated at 40%-55%, according to a Reuters report.

The new constitution “ban[s] political parties based on religion, give[s] women equal rights and protect[s] the status of minority Christians,” the Associated Press reported.

More than 20 million Egyptians voted in this week’s referendum on a new constitution, and more than 98 percent of them voted “yes”, the High Elections Commission announced.

Nabil Salib, the chairman of the commission, called the vote an “unrivalled success” and “an unprecedented turnout”.

It was still notably higher than the 2012 referendum on the constitution drafted while Morsi was president – about 17 million people.

The principles of the Sharia, which were refined in a constitutional article of their own in the 2012 constitution under Morsi, have now been moved to the preamble and have been partially reworded. Christians and Jews are allowed to have their own personal statutes. That means that all issues regarding family, religious affairs, and the election of religious leaders, for example, can be regulated on the basis of their own religious rules.

It replaces the constitution signed into law by ousted President Mohamed Morsi in 2012.

Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the vote, saying the process was illegitimate.

Several revolutionary groups also refused to participate, and there were reports of low youth turnout, which Salib blamed on university exams.

Alexandria Egypt after a Coptic Church was attacked by extremists

Alexandria Egypt after a Coptic Church was attacked by extremists

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. February 2014 Unveiled: anti-immigration confusion, World Hijab Day and on Hassan Rouhani » Maryam Namazie says:

    […] voters have approved a new constitution which grants women equal rights and extends protections for the persecuted […]

  2. New Constitution Tunisia omits Sharia Law, may protect religious minorities - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Arab Spring was three years ago and now, in the wake of the new Egyptian constitution, Tunisia is close to passing a new constitution which excludes Islam as the “main source of […]

  3. For Egypt’s Christians, Hopes Rise with Referendum says:

    […] Egyptians have voted in the referendum on a new constitution, and the High Elections Commission announced that 98 percent voted […]

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