Long awaited victory for Baha’is in Egypt

Date posted: March 19, 2009


 

After many years of being denied the right to legal documentation, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court removed any grounds for preventing Baha'is from receiving proper official identity documents.

SandMonkey commented on the court ruling saying:

This will mean that they will be able to lead a more normal and humane lifestyle, as opposed to the daily humiliation they would receive in order to get any paperwork done with the Egyptian government- from getting birth certificates, to applying to school and colleges to getting IDs passports, and death certificates.

Then he wonders if other Egyptians, in the aftermath of this verdict will

start demanding to get their religious status removed as well, even if they are not Baha'i? Would that be possible? Is that a step in the direction of abolishing the religion category from the Egyptian ID forever? One hopes, but that's still too far away. Too many people are clinging to it for reasons that simply do not make sense to me. So, if you are one of those people, and you are against removing it, please ask yourself, what good, exactly, does it do? And if you have an answer, let me know. I am intrigued!

Wa7da Masrya commented saying:

سعدت جدا بالحكم و ارجو أن تنقذة وزارة الداخلية و لو أني أشك في قدرتها التفنية على تغيير قاعدة بيانات الرقم القومي قي أن تجد حلا تقينا يسمح بترك خانة الديانة خالية و هي أي وزارة الداخلية التي خلت مصر كلها تروح تغير بطاقة الرقم القومي بدعوى أنها إنتهي صلاحيتها بعد سبع سنوات في حين ان أخبار قد إنتشرت على ان السبب الرئيسي هو مشكلة تقنية لم تستطع وزارة الداخلية حلها مما دفعها لإصدار هذا القرار بتجديد البطاقة
و الأن بعد هذا الحكم التاريخي لما لا نقوم كلنا كمصريين بوضع خانة الديانة بيضاء فما أهمية وضع الديانة في بطاقتنا ؟ إذا كنا جميعا مصريين لنا نفس الحقوق فما دخل الدين في البطاقة ؟
I am very pleased with the verdict and I hope the Ministry of Interior manages to put it to action by finding a technical solution in the database program used to create the social numbers cards whereby the religion entry becomes optional – I highly doubt their ability of working around that technicality the same way they failed to solve another technical issue that will lead us all to change our newly acquired cards in seven years.
Now, after this historical verdict, why don't we all – as Egyptians – leave the religious classification field empty? If we are all Egyptians sharing the same citizenship rights, then what is the use of this field?

Voice of Egypt commended the Egyptian judiciary system saying:

لسة قضاء مصر بخير و عقبال باقي المصريين أما يستخرجوا هويات دون ذكر الديانة
The Egyptian judiciary system is still alive and kicking and I am looking forward to the day when all Egyptians get ID cards that do not highlight their religion.

And speaking of religion, The Traveller Within, shared Gallup Survey announcing that Egypt is the most religious country in the world

Interestingly, 7 out of the top 10 most religious countries are majority Muslim countries. And 8 out of 10 are in Sub-Saharan African or East Asia.

The link between underdevelopment and religiosity (not religion: religiosity) is one I'd be keen to explore…

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