History is being made these days on the banks of the Nile. For the first time ever, the Egyptian public is being asked to decide whether they want to accept a Bill of Rights concocted for it by its rulers. The draft Constitution submitted to the people is certainly not a document worth dying for, no matter how you read it. Yet still, it had a difficult birth. At least ten young Egyptians sacrificed their lives in bloody, nationwide riots over the Constitution and the political maneuvering that accompanied it from its inception. For the first time in the post-Mubarak era, the Muslim Brotherhood has been subjected to the wrath of the streets.
It would be fair to assume that deep in their hearts, the extremist Salafis are ridiculing the Muslim Brotherhood for this dubious achievement. According to Salafi beliefs, “al-Hakm le-Illah” (“The Law is reserved for God alone”). Anything that is not the Word of God is considered null and void. To them, that detestable Western innovation known as a constitution is not a legitimate source of authority, nor is a legislature elected by the public. But along comes President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and commits two venal sins. Not only does he adopt a collection of laws created by mere mortals. He even attempts to derive his legitimacy from the public.