Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Egyptian fatwa committee seeks stronger punishment for re-conversion from Islam

Egyptian religious officials are seeking tougher penalties for individuals who reconvert from Islam to Christianity, the Assyrian International News Agency reported Monday, citing Quds Press.

According to the fatwa, issued by the country’s top religious body, reconverting is a religious offense that should be severely punished. However, as the article notes: “Some scholars say there is no specific punishment for apostasy in Islam, while others claim it is an offense punishable by death.”

In Egypt, Coptic Christians sometimes convert to Islam for personal reasons such as divorce or remarriage and later reconvert to Christianity. After the re-conversion, Copts must typically obtain new identification cards. Most re-conversion cases are still pending. In April 2007, an Egyptian court ruled that new identification documentation would not be issued to Christians who reconvert. The decision enraged Copts, who viewed it as a violation of their basic rights. One Coptic activist stated: “This is an inhuman decision that violates the right of citizenship granted to all Egyptians according to Article 1 of the constitution.”

For the full article, click here.


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