El-Wasat warns against adopting NDP recommendations; El-Gabry’s statements on the Quran criticized
The National Council on Human Rights tackles several issues and engages in a few disagreements in its ongoing discussions about the recommendations on constitutional reform, independent paper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
The council is preparing a report to be sent to President Mubarak. The council has approved the proposal to amend article 76 of the constitution, which states how the president gets elected, and article 77, demanding it state that the president should be allowed to stay in power for a maximum of two consecutive terms. Currently, the article states that the president can stay in power for an unlimited number of terms.
The council also demanded that article 88, which states that the judiciary should be entirely responsible for observing and monitoring elections remain unchanged.
Later disagreements took place between the council s leadership and members about the vice president s position and free education. Dr. Ibrahim Darweesh said that those recommendations did not express the members opinions and that the council is following the lead of the government.
Also this week, El-Wasat party was successful in gathering different political groups for a Ramadan iftar. El-Wafd party newspaper said that Dr. Yehya El-Gamal, one of the founders of the Democratic Front party under establishment, demanded at the iftar that a popular association be formed to write a new constitution for Egypt.
Abo Al Ela Mady, engineer and founder of El-Wasat party, warned the government against following through with the changes that the ruling National Democratic Party has proposed, including changing judicial supervision over elections and articles related to freedom.
On the other side, George Ishaq, the coordinator of the Kefaya (enough) movement has called on a demonstration by 100,000 people. He insists that reform can’t be achieved without action on the street.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported the same event, but highlighted different aspects. The paper printed a picture of Ishaq hugging Ali El-Dein Helal, representative of the ruling National Democratic Party, at the iftar on its front page. The paper also mentioned the warm welcome extended to the Muslim Brotherhood members whom Mady had left to establish a new party.
In other news, Mohammed Abed El-Gabry s allegations about the Quran were met with angry reactions from religious figures including Al-Azhar, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. The independent paper published the Moroccan thinker s article after it was published in El-Etehad newspaper in the United Arab Emirates and later on Al-Arabiya s Web site.
El-Gabry wrote an article claiming that the Quran, the Muslim holy book, had been modified. He claimed that parts of the Quran had been changed and that some verses had been completely removed, adding that some Muslim scholars had admitted it.
In response, Dr. Abdel Sabour Shahin, professor at the faculty of science, said that El-Gabry was a liar, asserting that the Quran is complete and not missing a word. Shahin added that El-Gabry has chosen the right timing for his anti-Islam allegations, capitalizing on current circumstances in which Islam is under attack. The last attack, he said, was the pope s remarks and insisted that there are organizations supporting El-Gabry s position.
Also this week, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported the debate over veiled actresses in the continuous coverage of television programs in the month of Ramadan. Hanan Turk, one of the leading Egyptian actresses who have recently donned the veil, expressed her fury about Egyptian state television s policy toward veiled actresses. I don t know whether it s a position against veiled women, although they make up 85 percent of Egyptian women, Turk says.
Turk added that she wonders whether there has been a decision that veiled actresses or television presenters shouldn t be featured on state television. If that s so, Turk says, it should be announced publicly.