Catching Our Eye
A close look at Egypt's draft constitution
Egypt's Constituent Assembly declared on Monday that the draft of the country's proposed new constitution is ready for public review. A popular vote is intended within 30 days of Monday's release.
What's in it? The Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Council has published a close study of the document, including a detailed examination of changes affecting religious freedom. In the draft, Islam remains the official state religion, and the principles of Sharia remain “the primary source of legislation", though the document no longer contains language that defines those principles and instead leaves the matter to the courts.
Peace efforts in Tanzania 'useless'
Christian leaders in Tanzania have said peace efforts between Christians and Muslims in the country have proved useless after the recent burning of two churches.
The torching of a Lutheran church in Korogwe and Evangelical Assemblies of God church in Kalalani have caused the union of church denominations in the Tanga region, in northeastern Tanzania, to reject the government’s peace platform, which requires Muslim and Christian leaders to discuss various religious issues, and to petition for something more effective.
“The situation these days is not good,” said Dr Jothan Mwakimage, a bishop, who chaired the Christian group. “We need to come up with another peace committee to be set by ourselves because the government platform has failed to deal with the matter.”
Chairperson of the defence and security committee, Chiku Gallawa, added: “Peace is important to all the people, regardless of their faith. Therefore, all of us must be responsible for ensuring that the peace we have prevails for the benefit of the present and future generations of this nation.”
Source: Tanzania Daily News
Terrorist link to torched churches
Russia’s Tatarstan Republic is offering 1 million rubles ($30,000) for information relating to the recent torching of several Orthodox churches in the region.
Four Orthodox churches were set on fire in the predominantly Muslim Republic in November and explosives were found in the city of Tuban Kama and the Aleksei district, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Investigators classified the attacks as vandalism and arson, but Tatarstan's prosecutor-general insisted they should be investigated as terrorism.
Seven Orthodox churches have been burnt down in the past six months. The Central Spiritual Board of Russian Muslims has condemned the arson attacks, saying: “There is no doubt that such action is an attempt to stir up sectarian discord and ethnic hatred”.