- Life Style
Bassam al-Zarqa, one of the advisors to President Mohamed Morsy, said the Egyptian people have "an overwhelming desire to implement Islamic Sharia, and not only its principles."
Zarqa, who is the secretary of the Salafi Nour Party in Alexandria and a member of the constitution-writing assembly, told London-based Asharq Al-Awsat that while the majority of Egyptians want Islamic Sharia implemented, Article 2 of the Constitution states that only the principles of Sharia represent the main source of legislation. He said that the word "principles" may have several interpretations, including one from the Constitutional Court saying principles need conclusive evidence, which could lead to a disregard of some authentic prophetic traditions, jurisprudential rulings and even a part of the Quran.
Zarqa added that he rejected "loose descriptions."
Since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, the popularity of Islamists has been rising and they won a majority in Parliament, which was later dissolved. In August, protests were staged to express rejection of the political hegemony of Islamists, and particularly the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. Egypt's newly elected president, Mohamed Morsy, also belonged to the Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, concerning Egypt's new constitution, Zarqa said 95 percent of the articles of the constitution will be passed by consensus, adding that there are disagreements on two or three articles, one of which is Article 2.
Zarqa also emphasized the importance of transforming the presidency from an institution controlled by one individual to one that operates on a collaborative basis, during his first meeting with Morsy. He added that this should also be the case with all state institutions. The meeting also tackled how the advisors and assistants will work together to give proper advice to the president.
Concerning the role of the presidential team, Zarqa said that he was picked as an advisor to follow up on the political issues related to investment, adding that the presidential staff is only an advisory panel with no executive powers.
Zarqa added that the president briefed his advisors on the development of the military operations in Sinai, as well as on his visits to China and Iran and his upcoming visit to the US.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm