CAIRO - More than 1,000 Islamists rallied in Cairo on Friday and called for the implementation of sharia Islamic law, highlighting divisions in society as rival factions jostle to shape the new Egypt.
Liberals have locked horns over the role of Islam with Islamists who dominate a 100-strong assembly that is drawing up a new constitution, which must be approved in a referendum before a new parliamentary election can be held.
"Islamiya, Islamiya," the protesters chanted in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak who spent 30 years keeping a tight lid on Islamists.
Drafts of the constitution drawn up by the assembly so far indicate it will have more Islamic references than the previous constitution. A key article stating that "the principles of sharia" are the main source of legislation has until now remained unchanged from the old constitution but a new article seeks to spell out what those principles are in Islamic terms.