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For the second time, a bill regulating the construction of places of worship was presented last Sunday to the Egyptian Parliament by Counselor Mohammed Goueily, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Suggestions and Complaints.  The project law couldn’t be debated in the past session due to elections. 

Counselor Goueily announced that the project law received unanimous support from the said -Committee and was sent to the Housing Committee in order to make a special report that would be viewed by Parliament. 

Mr. Goueily mentioned that the detailed study of the bill demonstrated the importance of passing this law as soon as possible in order to strengthen citizenship and equality between all citizens, as it is believed that mosques and churches are God’s houses.  He also referred to President Mubarak’s decision no. 291 of the year 2005, which authorizes governors to issue permits to build or modify an existing church.  This in turn will support such law, which eventually will abrogate all related previous decisions. 

Mr. Goueily called on all political parties as well as all civil society organizations, which declared their support to issue a unified law on the construction of worship places, to send their support in writing to parliament and the National Party in order to unify the efforts, forming a pressure mechanism to adopt this law as soon as possible, specially that the principle of such law received acceptance by acclamation. 

The said-bill consists of two articles:  the first deals with the construction and maintenance of all places of worship, be it Muslim, Christian or Jewish, in accordance with law No. 106 of year 1976. The second article annuls all decisions and regulations previously issued with regard to the construction of places of worship. 

[To support this bill, please sign the Petition in English: Equality for All Egyptians],
in Arabic:
حقوق متساوية لكل المصريين


Translated from an Arabic text published in Watani Weekly, Feb. 5, 2006, p.1

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