Islamists Hijacking Egypt's Constitution?

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Turmoil in Egypt continued Friday after Islamists that make up the assembly approved a new constitution.
    
The document now heads to the Egyptian people for their vote.

Illegal Power Grab?
    
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians said this new constitution along with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's recent power grab are illegal.

The constitutional assembly had another two months to work on the document that will serve as the government's new framework.
    
But the Islamist dominated panel rushed through a draft in only 48 hours to beat an upcoming court ruling that could dissolve the body.

"I am saddened to see this come out while Egypt is so divided," Egypt's top reform leader, Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei told a private television station, Al-Nahar TV.

But he predicted the document would not last long.

"It will be part of political folklore and will go to the garbage bin of history," he said.
    
The original assembly included liberals, Christians and less moderate Islamists, but they all walked away when they saw the Islamists taking over.
    
Opponents said the draft constitution could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation, possibly curbing freedom of speech, women's rights and religious liberty.    

"This decree is a temporary one until the constitutional assembly finishes drafting the new constitution, and it goes to the people to give their decision. The matter goes to those concerned, and the president of the republic has the executive power only," Morsi said of his recent power grab.

Last week, Morsi banned the courts from dissolving the constitutional assembly or the upper house of parliament and from reviewing his own decisions.

Protestors: Morsi Playing 'God'

The constitution escalates the confrontation sparked by Morsi's decree.

Anti-Morsi protestor Mustafa Moamen said, "Morsi has failed with his new constitution declaration.  He gave himself a god's power and said it's only temporary for two months."

Meanwhile, street clashes continue to erupt between thousands of protestors and Morsi supporters.
      
A large anti-Morsi protest was scheduled for Friday.
      
The Muslim Brotherhood is organizing a demonstration for Saturday.

The constitution must be approved before a new parliamentary election can happen.
    
Egypt has not an elected legislature since the Islamist-dominated lower house was dissolved in June.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.