Sunday, August 21, 2011

Arab and Islamic, By Law and Definition

Egypt has put up its Constitutional Declaration in English, and I am examining it. Articles 1 and 2 are as follows:

Article 1:
The Arab Republic of Egypt is a state with a democratic system, based on citizenship, and the Egyptian people are a part of the Arab nation working toward achieving its comprehensive unity.

Article 2:
Islam is the religion of the state, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic law are the chief source of legislation.

I am not going to speak for or against this formulation, it's about what you would expect. I am, however, seeing floating before my eyes any number of anti-Zionist types who have told me, with tears in their eyes, how backward, primitive, inherently racist, and inimical to peace it is for Israel to want to be identified as a Jewish state.

And I wonder what they will have to say about this precise double-whammy of self-identification by ethnicity and religion.

No, actually, I don't wonder. They'll scoot right along to show me the later articles promising freedom of religion, and not see their hypocrisy at all.

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