Now they've gone and done it. Egyptian Islamists have rammed through a constitution that gives few rights to women, restricts free speech, gives Muslim clerics a large role in passing legislation, and doesn't ban slavery outright.
Other than that, what's not to like - if you're a sharia loving Islamist?
Islamists approved a draft constitution for Egypt early Friday without the participation of liberal and Christian members, seeking to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve their panel with a rushed, marathon vote that further inflames the conflict between the opposition and President Mohammed Morsi.
The vote by the constituent assembly advanced a charter with an Islamist bent that rights experts say could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and bring restrictions on freedom of speech, women's rights and other liberties.
The draft, which the assembly plans to deliver to the president Saturday, must be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days. Morsi said Thursday it will be held "soon."
The opposition has called for a major rally Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where some demonstrators have camped out in tents since last week to protest decrees Morsi issued to grant himself sweeping powers. Hundreds gathered in the plaza for traditional Friday prayers, then broke into chants of "The people want to bring down the regime!" - echoing the refrain of the Arab Spring revolts, but this time against a democratically elected leader. Other cities around Egypt braced for similar protests.
The Islamist-dominated assembly that has been working on the constitution for months raced to pass the charter, voting article by article on the draft's more than 230 articles for more than 16 hours. The lack of inclusion was on display in the nationally televised gathering: Of the 85 members in attendance, there was not a single Christian and only four women, all Islamists. Many of the men wore beards, the hallmark of Muslim conservatives.
The die was cast long ago when the administration refused to support the secularists and liberals who actually got rid of Mubarak while the Muslim Brotherhood stayed on the sidelines. Now we have a Sunni sharia state bordering Israel.
A grand result for our "smart" foreign policy.