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Egypt – Court rules against ID cards for Baha’i citizens

16 December, 2006

It has emerged today that after a closely watched nine month court case that members of the Baha’i faith who live in Egypt, will not be able to list their religion on the government’s official ID cards. Which are an essential civil proof of identity. Since their introduction the only recognised religions one can list themselves as; are Muslim Jewish or Christian. Issues of human rights and general interest in the beliefs of Baha’is have flooded the Egyptian media recently.

CAIRO, Egypt: An Egyptian court ruled Saturday against giving Bahais the right to include their faith on official identification documents, ending an almost nine-month court battle.Map of Egypt

“The Egyptian constitution recognizes only three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism,” the judge of the Supreme Administrative Court said in his verdict.

Bahaism is a religion that emerged from Islam and regards a 19th century Persian nobleman, Baha’u’llah, as its prophet — a challenge to the Muslim belief that Muhammad is the last prophet. Given the pivotal role of Islam in Egyptian life, the government does not issue ID cards that say the holder is a Bahai. Cards may indicate only that the holder is an adherent of Islam, Christianity or Judaism; in the case of Bahais a line appears in the religion section.

The ruling is expected to spark a new round of public debate between Islamists, on one side and rights’ advocates who describe the ruling as a violation of human rights, on the other.

The story from International Herald Tribune and the BWNS

One Comment leave one →
  1. 7 February, 2007 23:18

    Pray this will change soon.

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