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Egyptians want advice, not rule, of clerics

By ADELLE M. BANKS
c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Four months after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a new Gallup survey says a majority of Egyptians want religious leaders to advise the nation’s officials but they do not want a theocracy.

About seven in 10 Egyptians said clerics should advise national leaders on legislation. In comparison, 14 percent said religious leaders should have full authority in creating laws and 9 percent said they should have no authority.

The findings, announced Tuesday (June 7), come from the United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, which monitors attitudes of Muslims worldwide.

Even as they seek a limited advisory role for clergy, most Egyptians (67 percent) want religious freedom as a provision in a new constitution. A much higher percentage (92 percent) say freedom of speech should be included, and slightly more than half want a new constitution to include freedom of assembly.

The report, titled “Egypt From Tahrir to Transition,” notes that despite sectarian violence in the country following Mubarak’s resignation, Egyptians are among the most religiously tolerant in Gallup’s ranking of populations in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Two-thirds of Egyptians say they would have no objections if someone of another faith moved in next door to them, second only to Lebanon in the region,” the report states.

The findings are based on in-person interviews with about 1,000 people ages 15 and older in late March and early April, and have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 to 3.5 percentage points.



  • Pingback: Egyptians want advice, not rule, of clerics | Teen Life News

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    This is good news I think. And it sounds like the average Egyptian has more sense than the average Alabaman. Not that that surprises me.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    Obviously, there will be no religious freedom in Egypt or any other Muslim land until Egyptian Muslims are free to convert to Christianity or any other religion. That is still a long way off.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Allan I can’t disagree with what you say but I’m tempted to extend it by pointing out that in many places in the US if you reveal you are an atheist or a Muslim or perhaps a Jew you risk your job and/or your social standing. That’s not exactly religious freedom either.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    Eyptians have a long road to traverse I imagine a lot of chaos and maybe a worse situation in the future

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