The controversial debate continues as Copts voice their fears concerning the continuation of Article 2 of the 1971 Egyptian Constitution which was voted on during the referendum. Article 2 has come under scrutiny mainly because it describes Egypt as an Islamic state and cites Islamic Law as the main source of legislation.
While some have called for its removal, Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who call for a civil state under Islamic references, argue that in all reality the law guarantees equality regarding holding public office, participating in political life and reaching leadership positions in the judiciary, public administration and other roles in public life for Muslims and Copts alike.
Renowned Judge Tarek Bishry writes that the concept of equality between Christians and Muslims was upheld by most schools of Islamic jurisprudence regarding most public and individual rights. In his book, ‘The State and the Church,’ Bishry highlights that Article 2 supports the principle of citizenship, which is supported by the teachings of Sharia.
In his book Bishry also addresses how Article 2 came into being, maintaining that it originated from Article 149 of the 1923 constitution, which continued to be imposed until 1953. Bishry’s book is the third in a series about the national community, after his book, "Muslims and Copts in the Framework of the National Community," issued in 1981, and "The National Community- Isolation and Integration," published in 2005.