How religion swayed Egypt's referendum
AHRAM ONLINE -- After the victory for the “Yes” camp, many are wondering whether this was a consequence of the religious sway of Islamists and Salafists.
Egypt, which held its first referendum in 1956 after the collapse of the monarchy, held its 22nd and what many are calling its freest, fairest referendum on Saturday.
The proposed constitutional amendments put to the vote largely dealt with the articles of the 1971 constitution pertaining to presidential elections and the president’s term in office.
There was no mention of the notorious Article 2, amended by President Anwar Al-Sadat through an earlier referendum in 1980, which states that "Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”
Nevertheless, Article 2 soon became central to the countrywide debate over the amendments. Along with the heated, albeit misplaced, talk on Article 2 came a term which though recognisable in academic halls and Islamic orthodox circles was largely absent from public debate.