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Why is Egypt's draft constitution so controversial? (+video)

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Others had hoped the constitution would do more to achieve social justice and alter what they say is a state structure that contributes to the growing gap between rich and poor.

But many expect the constitution will pass a national referendum, because of the Muslim Brotherhood's ability to mobilize its grassroots and because many Egyptians are eager to see the instability of the past 22 months come to an end, and believe a permanent constitution will help achieve that. 

While the process was contentious, here is a look at the actual content of the new constitution on key issues:

Islam and the state

Islamists and non-Islamists engaged in extensive wrangling during recent months over the role of Islam in the state, and the specific wording that would be used in the constitution to define how sharia, or Islamic law, relates to legislation. In the end, the drafters preserved the wording of the previous constitution: The principles of sharia are the main source of legislation. However, they also added another clause specifying what is meant by the principles of sharia

That clause says the principles of sharia should be in accordance with the established schools of Sunni Muslim doctrine. This limits the discretion given to judges in deciding on sharia issues, and could limit them from applying a progressive interpretation of sharia. But it could also keep judges from drawing on more extreme or conservative interpretations of sharia, say rights activists. 

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