Hillel Frisch discusses how Egypt can avoid a civil war as the conflict over constitutional reform persists.
A controversial document proposing a new set of constitutional principles in Egypt has caused great fear over the country's political future. If this government-orchestrated doctrine becomes binding before the coming elections, it may lead to major civil strife. Technically, the issue revolves around a document. In essence, Egypt's soul and identity is at stake.
Those who support the adoption of these binding principles – which would have to be adopted as part of any future Egyptian constitution – want Egypt to become a "civic" state, one with civil liberties and irrevocable free election cycles.
Opponents, however, claim that the new constitution should be drafted only after the elections, with the commensurate input of the political parties that are voted into government, and should not have to incorporate any of these principles.