Salafi Front to join Friday’s pro-Sharia protest

The Salafi Front says it will participate in the “Return of Sharia” protest in Tahrir Square planned for this Friday, reversing an earlier statement to the contrary.

Friday’s protest demands a stronger application of Islamic law in the new constitution.

Salafi Front spokesperson Khaled Saeed said that the party objects to the controversial Article 2 in the draft constitution, which says that the “principles” of Sharia will be applied. Other articles contradict Sharia altogether, Saeed claimed.

An article should be added stating that the constitution would not include any articles violating Sharia, he said.

As an example, Saeed cited Article 3, which he alleged violates Sharia and diminishes the freedoms of non-Muslims by ordering them to resort to the rule of law in their own religions. Sharia already stipulates that non-Muslims have the freedom to choose between Islamic law and their own legislation, Saeed said.

The Front is also protesting language in the constitution that bans defaming the prophets, but doesn’t mention defamation of the divine, thereby permitting atheism as well as the defamation of other Quranic figures and Islamic symbols, he claimed.

Several Islamist forces, including the Jama’a al-Islamiya and other Salafi parties, have announced that they would participate in Friday’s protest. The Muslim Brotherhood has declined to participate in the protest.

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