- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - December 9, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Final Draft of Constitution, published November 29, 2012 (Arabic) (English) (Audio)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Decree - November 22, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 24, 2012) (Arabic)
- Draft of the Constitution, published October 16, 2012 (Arabic) (English)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Decree Pardoning January 25 Prisoners - October 8 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi's Constitutional Declaration - August 12 (English) (Arabic)
- President Mohamed Morsi’s Decree reinstating the dissolved parliament – July 8 (English) (Arabic)
- Renaissance (Nahda) Project (English)
- Morsi Meter (English) (Arabic)
- SCAF Amendments to Interim Constitution - June 17, 2012 (English) (Arabic)
- Interim Constitution (full text, English and Arabic), ratified by popular referendum on March 23, 2011)
- Law on the Presidential Election, No. 174, 2005 (Arabic)
- Electoral laws for the People’s Assembly and Shura Council (full text, Arabic, amended July 19, 2011)
- Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, No. 84/2002 (English)
- Law on the People’s Assembly, amended October 2011 (PDF, Arabic)
- Supra-Constitutional Principles (English) (Arabic)
- The Final Draft Wording of the Articles on Defense and National Security in the New Constitution (English) (Arabic)
- Leaked Articles of the Draft Constitution (English)
Egyptian Government Resources
- Official Facebook page of President Mohamed Morsi (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of Presidential Spokesman Yasser Ali (Arabic)
- Official Facebook page of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces (Arabic)
- Official website of the Cabinet (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Interior (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of Finance (English) (Arabic)
- Ministry of International Cooperation (Arabic)
- Ministry of Social Solidarity (Arabic)
- Ministry of Information (Arabic)
- Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade (English) (Arabic)
- Ahram Weekly (English)
- Egypt Independent (English)
- Daily News Egypt (English)
- Ahram Online (English)
- Akhbar al-Youm (Arabic)
- Ahram (Arabic)
- Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
- al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic)
- al-Shorouk (Arabic)
- al-Wafd (Arabic)
- Masrawy (Arabic)
- EGYNews (Arabic)
Think Tanks and NGOs:
- al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (English)
- Arab Forum for Alternatives (English) (Arabic)
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (English) (Arabic)
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (English) (Arabic)
- Adl (Justice)
- al-Asala (Authenticity)
- Building and Development
- Democratic Front
- al-Dostour (Constitution)
- Freedom and Justice
- Ghad (Tomorrow)
- Ittihad (Union)
- Karama (Dignity)
- al-Masriyin al-Ahrar (Free Egyptians)
- Masr al-Hurriya (Egypt Freedom)
- Nour (Light)
- Popular Alliance
- Reform and Development
- Social Democratic
- Sufi Liberation
- al-Tayar al-Masry (Egyptian Current)
In the midst of the inflammatory events that Egypt has witnessed since Friday January 25, 2013, the president called for a national dialogue in his speech Sunday night. The opposition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), declined this invitation for several reasons; the most important of which is that there is no assurance that the results of this dialogue will be put into practice. This condition – that whatever results from the dialogue be implemented – actually has origins in Islamic Sharia; in the concept of ‘Shura’ or consultation.
Nearly all books on Islamic governance discuss the concept of Shura. This discussion revolves around two basic issues: is Shura mandatory (wajebah) or just recommended (mandobah)? And, is Shura binding (molzemah) or just a guide (moe'lemah?) On the first point, the prevailing opinion – which may even be the consensus – is that Shura is mandatory. Hence, in Islam, the ruler must resort to Shura to obtain the opinion of experts, politicians, and scholars. National dialogue, in fact, is a form of Shura. The second point, and this is the crux of the matter, revolves around the results of the Shura -- whether this opinion is binding on the ruler or merely “a consultative opinion” (in contemporary jargon) or “a guiding opinion” (in the vocabulary of Islamic jurisprudence). This issue has many nuances, and this article lacks room to address all of them, but the prevailing opinion among jurists and Islamic scholars is that Shura is binding on the ruler. This means that the opinion resulting from consultation or dialogue is a binding opinion on the ruler, and he must enact it regardless of whether the opinion was the consensus or majority opinion of those consulted.
In my opinion, we desperately need to adopt this Islamic model in which the opinion resulting from Shura is binding on the ruler. Applying this model has many benefits, which include:
1. Binding Shura is one of the fundamental aspects of Islamic Sharia that have been neglected by many who reduce Islam to just its “legal” aspects. This is because Shura, as conceptualized in Islam as one of the pillars of system of governance in Islamic state, not only is the best guarantee against dictatorship and tyranny but also paves the way for true socio-political participation.
2. More closely related to our situation in Egypt, applying this model to President Morsi’s national dialogue would significantly diminish the current political tension. This, in turn, would clear the way for a "participatory political solution" through which the country would emerge from its current crisis because those participating in the dialogue would find it useful and feel that the ruling authority would respect its results. Moreover, President Morsi’s applying this model would dispel the fears held by most political forces in Egypt that he and the Muslim Brotherhood want to monopolize power at a time when it is wrong to do so. We are now in urgent need of participation, not exclusion . In addition, adopting this model would also distribute responsibility amongst all the political parties in Egypt. This is what would guarantee true participatory governance that enables the president to “contain” all parties underneath the umbrella of the ruling authority.
A true, inclusive dialogue is built on the parties’ agreement with one another to cooperatively search for alternatives and on the ability to negotiate. It would be well worth enacting the opinion resulting from this kind of dialogue, and this, in my opinion, is the best way to resolve the crisis facing Egypt.
Yussef Auf is an Egyptian judge and 2012 Humphrey Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Constitutional Law and Political Systems at Cairo University.
Trackback URL for this post:
EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era.
If you are interested in submitting an article for publication on EgyptSource, please send an inquiry via email with a short outline of your idea.
The views expressed in EgyptSource are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Atlantic Council, its staff, or its supporters.
Follow us on Twitter: @EgyptSource
Click here to sign up for the weekly EgyptSource newsletter.
Faces of Egypt
Journalist and videographer Abanoub Emad explains the drive behind his work: “I want to cover the truth..If it was just a job for me I wouldn't risk my life, but this is what I want to do…and this is what differentiates the quality of work. You can tell who's doing it for the sake of doing it, and who's doing it because it's what they love to do”
At twenty-two, Amr El Salanekly has won the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative fellowship, co-founded a social incubator and an educational platform for underprivileged kids, turned down a job with Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank, and raised hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pounds for community projects in Egypt.
Check out the rest of the Faces of the New Egypt series here.
About the Contributors
Alaa Al Aswany, the Arab world's bestselling novelist, is the author of The Yacoubian Building, Chicago, and Friendly Fire. His work is published in thirty-one languages worldwide. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Yussef Auf is an Egyptian judge and 2012 Humphrey Fellow at American University’s Washington College of Law. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Constitutional Law and Political Systems at Cairo University. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Amr Hamzawy joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University in Cairo in 2011, where he continues to serve today. He is a former member of parliament and a member of the National Salvation Front. Read his EgyptSource posts here.
Haitham Tabei is a special correspondent for the Washington Post and Asharq Saudi newspaper in Cairo.
Read his EgyptSource posts here.
- The Arabist
- Abu Aardvark (Marc Lynch)
- A Sense of Belonging
- Dalia Ziada
- Daniel W. Drezner
- Democracy Digest
- The Egypt Report
- Egyptian Chronicles
- Felix Arabia
- Foreign Policy Passport
- Foreign Policy Association
- Hossam El-Hamalawy
- MEI Editor’s Blog
- Middle East Post
- Middle East Progress (CAP)
- POMED Wire
- Rantings of a Sandmonkey