Gamaa Islamiyya slams ban on religion-based political parties
Al Nour Party spokesperson Nader Bakar - YOUM7 (Archive)

By YOUM7

CAIRO: Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiya and its political arm, the Building and Development Party, criticized on Thursday the 50-member committee’s reported ban on founding religion-based political parties.

The 50-Member Committee, tasked with amending the 2012 constitution, has reportedly reached a decision on Wednesday.

“The amendment to article 54 of the suspended constitution aimed at banning the establishment of political parties based on religious aspects, or practicing politics based on religion, contradicts democratic principles,” a statement by the group said.

The party expressed concerns that the amendment gave authorities the right to eliminate any party they oppose based on a clause.

Nader Bakkar, Chief Assistant for Media affairs for the Salafi al-Nour Party, said such a ban will not stop Islamists from engaging in politics, “because Islam is a religion and a state and cannot be ripped apart.”

Bakkar added in a phone interview with satellite channel Al-Arabiya that this ban will change nothing, saying, “we need to have a political frame to control any extremism.”

The debate started after Mohamed Salmawy spokesman of the 50-Member said the committee agreed on amending article 54 of the suspended constitution regarding the establishment of political parties.

According to the al-Wafd news website the new article states: “no political party will be established according to religious basis, race, carrying out secret activities, any activities that violate democratic principles or of military character, also political parties cannot be dissolved unless a court order is issued regarding the disassembly of the political party, as a result, religious based political parties have to reorganize their legal standings.”

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