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Egyptian Islamists claim religious tolerance amendment will allow gay marriage

Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya has accused Egypt’s Constituent Assembly of opening the door to same-sex marriage by amending the constitution to ensure that non-Muslims may not be punished for living non-Islamic lives
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya party members in 2011
Photo by Lilian Wagdy

Egyptian Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya has accused Egyptian lawmakers of opening the door to same-sex marriage after they amended Article 3 of the country’s constitution to ensure non-Muslims could not be punished under sharia law.

Article 3 states that the personal and religious affairs of non-Muslim Egyptians should be governed by their own religious communities’ standards, not by those of Islam.

Article 3 previously only referenced Christians and Jews as being exempt from sharia law, but the amended article covers all non-Muslims, something that Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya have claimed will lead to same-sex couples being able to marry in Egypt.

‘This amendment allows those who belong to different religions to practice incest and homosexual marriage,’ a statement released by the group yesterday reads.

‘It also allows atheists to have their own laws, which govern their personal affairs.’

The group also objected to the removal of Article 10 of the constitution which prioritized the preservation of the Egyptian family’s ‘authentic characteristic.’

‘The amendments drafted by the 2013 Constituent Assembly are creating a constitution which only preserves minorities’ rights while disregarding the rights of an Islamic majority,’ Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya spokesman Mohamed Hassaan told Daily News Egypt.

Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya murdered 71 people during a machine gun terror attack on the Temple of Hatshepsut at Luxor in 1997 but the group renounced violence in 2003.

The group’s political wing, the Building and Development Party, won 13 seats in the People’s Assembly of Egypt in 2011 elections.

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