Finally, there is Article 81, which follows the disingenuous scheme Islamists have previously adopted in the Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (also known as the “Cairo Declaration“) and in the constitutions of such other new “Islamic democracies” as Afghanistan and Iraq. That is, after a few soothing lines about how individual “rights and freedoms” are sacrosanct, not “subject to disruption or detraction,” the constitution goes on to say: “Such rights and freedoms shall be practiced in a manner not conflicting with the principles pertaining to State and society included in Part I of this Constitution.” And what are those “principles” in the “State and Society” section of the draft? Why, they are the ones that say principles of sharia govern all legislation — again, “principles” as construed by al-Azhar, using the ancient interpretations of the four classical Sunni schools of jurisprudence. Bottom line: Egyptians have only the rights and freedoms permitted under sharia.
When all the verbal camouflage is swept away, the new constitution delivers on what Mohamed Morsi, during the Egyptian presidential campaign, promised he would deliver: “The sharia, then the sharia, and finally the sharia.” As the now-dictator elaborated at the rally on the eve of the election (in a speech translated by MEMRI):
This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic sharia. I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text [of the constitution]. … Allah willing, the text will truly reflect [the sharia], as will be agreed upon by the Egyptian people, by the Islamic scholars, and by legal and constitutional experts…. Rejoice and rest assured that this people will not accept a text that does not reflect the true meaning of the Islamic sharia as a text to be implemented and as a platform. The people will not agree to anything else.