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Long awaited victory for Baha'is in Egypt

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…

6 comments

  • Ghada

    Marwa thank you so much,,,I m finally an Egyptian citizen by law after being in court for 5 long years with nothing but hope and support from such great people as u that believe in freedom and the right to live :)

    I can’t explain my happiness seriously and i can’t wait till i have between my hand my egyptian ID without having to deny my faith :)

  • Nabil

    Marwa,

    The historic ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court allowing the Baha’is to obtain ID cards is laudable. What is not laudable are the administrative obstacles that the Ministry of the Interior has created to prevent Egyptian citizens from obtaining required legal proof of this citizenship because of their beliefs. Finally victory has arrived. The Ministry’s obligation to speed up the process of implementing this ruling is now not only moral but also legal.

    The people of the world yearn for a day when everyone will be treated with respect. Governments can facilitate this, but in some cases they just have to get out of the way in achieving this goal. The world is changing and soon, perhaps not soon enough in my lifetime, the oneness of humanity will be attained!

  • Karim Alaa

    I’m one of the Egyptian Baha’is and I believe that this court verdict is not only in favor of the Baha’is but is also a major victory for all Egyptians fighting for a state where all citizens enjoy equal rights regardless of their religion or belief.
    Once this court verdict is put into effect it will end the sufferings of many Baha’is in Egypt.
    I thank all human rights activists in Egypt who supported this case for over 3 years and pursued equality and justice for all Egyptians.
    I’m very optimistic and believe we are witnessing what could be the beginning of a new Era for freedom and human rights in Egypt.

  • ghada

    Nabil i totally agree with you and i loved that sentence of your ” The world is changing and soon, perhaps not soon enough in my lifetime, the oneness of humanity will be attained! ” ,,,And i want to say that everyone of us has a role to make that day come true,,i wish we will live to see it but if not then we should do our best to make it happen in the near futur for the coming generations,,,

    Thank you all so much,,you dont know how such comments make all the bahai’s happy :) and by the way today was the Bahai New year the 21st of March and this year had a total different feeling as it will be the year of recognizing us as Egyptian citizens finally :)

  • Nabil

    What was not clear to religious zealots or to the authorities that held back the human and citizenship rights from Egyptian citizens for so long was that this injustice made a lot of fellow citizens realize that true religion cannot and should not be a source of hatred and friction.

    Many ordinary citizens began to realize that the Baha’i teachings of the essential oneness of religion is what the future holds for humanity.

    The fundamental teachings of the Baha’i Faith: the oneness of the creator, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of the human race are critical for the survival of our ailing world. In the Baha’i Teachings, true religion provides the cure for an ailing civilization.

    If religion be the cause of discord and dissension, the world would be better without religion. If the cure is the cause of the illness, it would be better not to have the cure.

    A new generation worldwide is longing to hear that the \Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens\; all religions teach the same fundamental truths; they vary only in their social teachings which are contingent on time and place and that this is the time where today’s Divine Guidance provides a divine blueprint for an ever-advancing world civilization based on a spiritual foundation. The spiritual foundation translates into the yearning desire of each individual to be of service to humanity. Many people now realize that true religion is God’s, our partaking of it is expressed not in hatred and prejudice, far from it, it is to be expressed in acts of unity, love and service to our fellow human beings.

    While the Baha’is in Egypt can now have their revoked human and citizenship rights restored, many others are discovering that the Baha’is and the Baha’i Faith, far from being a problem, may have the solution to provide what all the prophets of old had foretold of a spiritual transformation of the human race that promotes unity, love, peace and service.

  • […] in March, I wrote a post congratulating Baha'is in Egypt when the Supreme Administrative Court removed any grounds for […]

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