Egyptian writers in Wednesday’s newspaper issues followed the visit of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb and Pope Francis to the UAE. Others continued to comment on the recent proposed constitutional amendments as the parliament approved a motion signed by 155 MPs to amend the 2014 Constitution.
Pope Francis led on Tuesday a historic mass in the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, marking the first ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula. The event came as part of the UAE’s 2019 Year of Tolerance.
Emad El-Din Hussein, editor-in-chief of the private newspaper Al-Shorouk recalled his old days in the UAE, mentioning stories that he said proved that the Gulf country has always enjoyed an atmosphere of tolerance.
Hussein pinned that he spent 10 years in the UAE during which he could not remember an incident of racism or sectarian intolerance. He noted that people were civilised and tolerant with each other because all citizens are equal before the law.
Also in Al-Shorouk, Sayed Abo Zeid Omar followed Al-Tayeb’s and Pope Francis’s remarks on religious tolerance, calling on Sunnis and Shiites to unite views in order to avoid more bloodshed.
Omar maintained that the conflict between two Muslim sects is political, but both are Muslims anyway and have to reach political agreements to end the strife.
In Al-Akhbar daily, Mohamed Barakat wrote that the historic Human Fraternity document Pope Francis and Al-Tayeb sighed during their trip, sends a message of love and fraternisation among all people.
Barakat maintained that the document is a ‘slap’ in the faces of extremists and those who support terrorism and violence. He added that the declaration calls for ending wars and conflicts across the world.
On the other hand, Moataz Abdel-Fattah of Al-Youm Al-Sabaa newspaper opinionated that amending constitutions is a necessary process that supports its continuity, citing the example of the France experience.
Abdel-Fattah argued that France “observed more than fifteen permanent constitutions” since the French revolution of 1789, along with a number of interim constitutions and amendments. He noted that constitutions, in general, need to be amended, and if not, the political regime could slip into chaos.
Likewise, Al-Youm Al-Sabaa’s Sameh Geweda criticised some people who reject the proposed constitutional amendments, noting that all have the right to decide their own choice without accusing the other of treason. Geweda argued that the Egyptian Parliament has the right to amend the constitution as it is a ‘usual democratic act.’