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Egyptians who vote for draft constitution will go to ‘hell:’ Salafi leader

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Egyptians who vote for a draft constitution that does not establish “shariah rulings” as the country’s main jurisprudence will go “to hell,” a Salafi political leader has said.

Adel Afifi, the founder and president of Al-Asala political party, wrote on his Facebook account: “Support God and reject the constitution.” He added that those who will accept the draft constitution will be “apostates,” “committing a sin” and “casting themselves into hell.”

The approval of a constitution that “rebuffs God’s law is prohibited and is a clear sin,” Afifi added, according to Egypt’s news website Masrawy.com.

The draft constitution leaves unchanged Article 2 of the 1971 constitution stating, “Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language and the principles of Islamic Shariah form the main source of legislation.”

Salafis and Islamic hardliners demand that the expression “the principles of Islamic shariah” be replaced by “rulings of shariah.”

Salafis in Egypt are planning a protest in Tahrir Square on Friday to “support Sharia” and to call for a constitution in which its “articles do not violate God’s law.” The Muslim Brotherhood movement said it will not take part in the protest.

The phrasing of Article 2 ignited debates over the role of religion in the country’s affairs and those in charge of interpreting it.

The current draft seems unsatisfying not only to ultra conservatives Salafis, but for secularists and human rights activists too, as it is accused of seeking to place limits on religious freedoms and women’s rights.

The constitution panel members have said they are expected to finish writing the draft charter as early as next month. The new constitution then will have to be put to a public referendum within 30 days.