Egypt Parliament Oath Triggers Debate as Some Salafi MPs Alter Wording

News article, posted 01.31.2012, from Egypt, in:
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Egypt Parliament Oath Triggers Debate as Some Salafi MPs Alter Wording (Photo: Ahram Online)

The wording of the oath taken by the new MPs in Egypt's parliament triggered controversy in the first session after some MPs added phrases related to the Islamic Shar'iah and the 25 January uprising. The session was carried live by Egyptian state-run Sawt al-Sha'b TV.

Mamduh Isma'il, MP of the Salafi Al-Asalah Party, changed the wording of the oath to read "[I swear by God] to respect the constitution and the law as long as it does not disagree with the Shar'iah [Islamic law]" instead of "to respect the constitution and the law".

Mahmud al-Saqqa, chairman of the session, asked Isma'il to repeat the oath without adding any phrases of his own. Isma'il declined at the beginning and had an argument with Al-Saqqa, and some MPs also commented, saying that there was no constitution so far and it was still not clear what the system governing the country.

As a compromise, Mamduh repeated the oath, then he added after reading the oath: "This is the text, and my comment is: in things that do no disagree with the Shar'iah".

Mamduh also carried a banner reading: "Mubarak must stand in a political revolutionary trial."

MP Ziyad al-Ulaymi also started his oath saying: "I swear by Allah to complete the 25 January Revolution." Another MP said: "[I swear by God] to respect the constitution, the law and the rights of 25 January revolution martyrs".

Source: Cairo Sawt al-Sha'b TV in Arabic (Egyptian state-run parliamentary TV network, launched in January 2012)