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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? No, but law functions in its place
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes, the law does in place of a constitution


Constitution Year not applicable
Last Amended not applicable
Source Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria)
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

[ARDA Note: The relevant parts of the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic, drafted in 2004, are reproduced below. As of April 2011, Somalia had no functioning constitution.]


In the Name of Allah, the most Merciful, the Beneficent. WE, THE DELEGATES REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE OF THE SOMALI REPUBLIC have solemnly resolved to enact a Transitional Federal Charter for the Somali Republic;

Article 8: Religion

1. Islam shall be the religion of the Somali Republic.
2. The Islamic Sharia shall be the basic source for national legislation.

Article 15: Equality of the Citizens Before the Law

1. All citizens of the Somali Republic are equal before the law and provisions of this Transitional Federal Charter and have the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without distinction of race, birth, language, religion, sex or political affiliation.
2. Equality shall include the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms.

Article 23: Political Asylum

1. Extradition may be granted against a person accused of a crime committed in his or another country only if an extradition treaty exists between Somalia and the country requesting thereof.
2. The state may grant political asylum to a person and his close relatives who flee his or another country on grounds of political, religious, and cultural persecution unless such asylum seeker(s) have committed crime(s) against humanity.

Article 24: Education

10. Teaching of Islam shall be compulsory for pupils in both Public and Private Schools. This does not apply to non-Muslim students.

Article 25: Protection of Family

1. The family shall be recognized as the basic unit of the society whereas religion, morals and love of the country shall be the central pillars of the family.

Article 40: Qualifications

1. Any person shall be qualified and eligible to be elected the President of the Somali Republic, if the person:-
(a) Is a citizen of the Somali Republic.
(b) Has attained at least 40 years of age.
(c) Is a practicing Muslim whose parents are Somali citizens.

Article 42: Oath of the President

Before taking the oath and duties of the President, the President elect shall take and subscribe to the oath of allegiance. Such an oath shall be for the due execution of his/her office in a manner prescribed herein:-
"In the name of Allah I swear that I will discharge faithfully all my duties as President in the interest of the people and that I will abide by the Charter and laws of the Somali Republic."

Article 49: Tenure of Office of the Prime Minister

1. A person whose appointment as Prime Minister has been confirmed by the Parliament shall assume office upon taking the oath hereunder.
"In the name of Allah I swear that I will discharge faithfully all my duties as Prime Minister in the interest of the people and that I will abide by the Charter and laws of the Somali Republic."
2. The term of office of the Prime Minister shall continue until:
(a) He/She dies, resigns or is dismissed from office; or
(b) Until another person is appointed to that office.


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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