Egypt: Deputy Prime Minister Being Investigated for "Dishonoring the Divine"

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam
Jump to: navigation, search
Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim

This is an update on "Egyptian Shaykh Demands Punishment for Deputy Prime Minister for Insulting Allah".

Salafi activists in Egypt launched a campaign on Facebook which calls for the dismissal of Dr. Yahya al-Jamal, the Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister. They demanded that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dismiss him, and they accused him of doing nothing but dividing Egyptians against each other.

It appears that al-Jamal cannot keep from igniting controversy and creating more problems in the cabinet of Dr. 'Isam Sharaf, who has thus far been unable to contain the long list of crises and problems on his desk since he emerged in Tahrir Square a little less than a month ago. At that time the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces offered him the leadership of Egypt, as his was the face that the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square accepted to form the Egyptian government.

Unlike Sharaf, who appeared compatible with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis who embraced him in Tahrir Square, and cleared the way for him to stand on the podium on the condition that he stand in the middle of their symbols, al-Jamal intentionally collides with the Salafis and provokes their anger. Thus it seems that Sharaf's government contains one who can incite the anger of the Brotherhood and the Salafis, who so far appear to have benefited the most from the 25 January revolution.

It does not appear that al-Jamal is ready to back down from angering the Islamists; in fact, it's as if he deliberately pushes their buttons. Just days after Mamduh Isma'il, a member of the Council of the Public Union for Egyptian Lawyers who is also affiliated with al-Gama'a al-Islamiya in Egypt, filed a complaint with the public prosecutor against al-Jamal, accusing him of dishonoring the Divine, al-Jamal again returned to defy the Islamic street in Egypt with his insistence on objecting to the second article in the Egyptian constitution, which stipulates that "the Islamic shari'ah is the principal source of legislation."

Al-Jamal said that the word "the" in the phrase "the principal" could be replaced with the word "a" to make it "a principal." This was met with satisfaction from the anti-Islamist community in Egypt, and with fierce anger from the Muslim Brotherhood, especially since al-Jamal's comment about replacing "the principal" with "a principal" coincided with Pope Shenouda's request for the deputy prime minister to add text to the second article of the constitution which would confirm a special status for Copts to observe their own laws. The Salafis consider this an unacceptable "veto" from the Coptic church to the application of the Islamic shari'ah in Egypt.

Al-Jamal had previously sparked controversy with his comments on the results of the referendum to amend the constitution, which included an improper reference to the Divine. The public prosecutor in Egypt is investigating accusations against him against the backdrop of these comments under complaint number 4,987 for the year 2011, as well as for his description of Islamists as having "dark minds," and having nothing to do with Islam.