Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Christian convert’s ID card request denied by Egyptian court

A Christian convert from Islam was denied the right to switch the religion on his identity card by a Cairo court on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported the same day.

Mohammed Higazi, a convert to Christianity, had requested to have his new religion marked on his identity card because he no longer practiced Islam. However the court ruled that Higazi had not followed the proper procedures. In addition, the judgment said that the granting of the ID card was not possible because Higazi converted “to an older religion.”

“Monotheistic religions were sent by God in chronological order... As a result, it is unusual to go from the latest religion to the one that preceded it,” the court said. Because Higazi converted from Islam to Christianity, the judgment said that he is “threatening the principles of Egyptian tradition.”

This Higazi judgment came on the same day as a ruling that allows Egyptian Baha’is to leave their religion blank on their identity cards. Prior to the ruling, Baha’is were forced to label themselves as other religions that were more acceptable in Egypt.

In Egypt, a person must carry ID cards at all times. It is the only way to apply for a job, open a bank account, buy property, and register children for schools. A citizen can be arrested for not carrying proper identification.

For the full article, click here.


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