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Egyptians Protest Egypt’s Draft Constitution

Police stand guard during a protest against the military council outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo, June 19, 2012.
Egyptians have taken to the streets today to protest what they say are attempts by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party to control drafting the country’s new constitution. Dozens of people have gathered at Tahrir square, calling the demonstration “Egypt for all Egyptians.” Hundreds more are expected to arrive at the conclusion of Friday prayers. It was only a week ago today that protesting turned violent at Tahrir Square between various groups, injuring more than 100 people.

VOA Correspondent Elizabeth Arrott said the demonstrations are aimed at the Muslim Brotherhood and what they say is their domination of Egyptian politics, in particular the draft constitution. She said this will be the first post-revolution constitution and it is causing a lot of controversy.

Arrott said the draft constitution has people concerned on a number of levels, with one of the most controversial points being Article Nine.

“Article Nine says the family is the basis of society and its foundations are religion, morality and patriotism. For example, it is not really clear whose morality is represented, so perhaps in years to come, people could use that to exploit it to a very narrow definition, say a Salafist, in what some people would consider the strictest interpretation. That would exclude a lot of people’s choices,” said Arrott.

Egypt’s Constitution Assembly is comprised of a 100-member body made up of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists and other Islamic groups, whose train of thinking dominates the constituent assembly. Arrott said next week the high court will rule on a case brought forward by liberal members of that body and their supporters, saying that the assembly is not a properly represented body, and they are hoping it will be again dissolved. To listen to the entire interview between Kim Lewis and Elizabeth Arrott click on audio.