The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists are at odds over the exact language of the draft Egyptian constitution, but the difference is meaningless. Sharia will be the law of the land. And the U.S. response is that it is withholding judgment until a constitution is officially proposed but so far, so good!
The dispute is over the precise definition of the role of Sharia in Article 2. The Muslim Brotherhood is satisfied with declaring “the principles” of Sharia to be the main source of legislation. The Salafists want it to say that Sharia (not its principles) is the main source of legislation. That is what the fuss is over.
On October 18, the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website carried a statement from Dr. Mahmoud Ghozlan, a leader in its Guidance Bureau that sits on the Constitutional Assembly that is writing the draft. It claims that an agreement has been reached, but the Salafists are still planning demonstrations on November 2.
Ghozlan says that the General Provisions section of the constitution will define what is meant by the language of Article 2:
“The principles of Islamic Sharia include general evidence and fundamentalist bases, rules and jurisprudence, as well as sources accepted by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars,” it reads.
In other words, the institution of Sharia.