After Egypt’s climatic Arab Awakening, the Egyptian people were tasked with the establishment of self-rule. Indeed, the events after the fall of the Mubarak regime were, in many ways, more tumultuous than the Tahrir Square protests themselves. Now, the focus is on the recently-released constitutional draft and how the constitution grapples with heated debate surrounding freedom of religion, expression, and speech and equal rights for women.
What are the internal dynamics within the Constitutional Assembly, who are the major players behind the draft, and who has voiced opposition? After the rise of Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom & Justice Party and the Salafi Nour Party, how have these movements evolved their ideology and practices “on the ground” and how has this impacted their advocacy within the Constitutional Assembly? To what degree have non-Islamist parties had a voice in the constitutional process and, moreover, will they have real impact on its adoption or rejection?
The status of Egypt’s constitution and how Congress can act to preserve equal citizenship rights will addressed at a briefing sponsored by the International Religious Freedom Caucus.
Speakers will include Dr. Sandra Bunn-Livingstone, who advised and promoted the Egyptian Bill of Rights and Freedoms, a “normative, guiding legal and policy structure for Egypt.” The Bill of Rights, the first of its kind in the Arab world, provides eleven principles including rule of law, gender equality, and prohibition of discrimination based on religion, gender, ethnicity, or belief.
The meeting will also hear from Dr. Kurt Werthmuller, author of Coptic Identity and Ayyubid Politics in Egypt, 1218-1250 who serves as an Adjunct Fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. In his work for the Hudson Institute, Dr. Werthmuller has researched political, social, and religious trends in the status of religious minorities in the Arab world.
The third speaker is Mark Salah Morgan who is a board member of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association. Mr. Morgan is the co-author of “To Stop Corruption, Egypt Needs a Freedom of Information Law.”
International Religious Freedom Caucus Briefing
The Preservation of Equal Citizenship Rights in Egypt:
The Constitutional Assembly and the Egyptian Bill of Rights and Freedoms
November 8, 2012, 3:30-4:30pm
2212 Rayburn Building