Published in National Review Online: The Corner
Mohammad El Baradei, whom many tout as a great reformer, is now on record supporting the Egyptian constitution’s controversial Article 2, which states: “Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”
The final clause, that sharia is the “principle source of legislation,” was introduced by President Sadat in 1971 and further solidified by Hosni Mubarak as a way to make nice with the Muslim Brotherhood. Today it is a major point of contention, especially for Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority and Muslim secularists who prefer separating Islam from affairs of the state, and who believe the time is conducive to revisit and revise Egypt’s constitution as necessary.
My translation of the relevant section of today’s Al Ahram, Egypt’s prominent paper, follows: “El Baradei confirmed his support for Article 2 of the Constitution, which, according to his perspective, is representative of the identity of the Egyptian people … and [confirmed] that his daughter married a Christian youth — but only after he had converted to Islam [according to Sharia].”